I have quite the imagination growing up and I still do have a pretty active imagination now that I am an adult. It was so much fun for me to enjoy some playtime as a kid and to explore and go wherever my mind wanted to. I would love to play by myself just as much as I loved to play with other kids. I could be in my room playing alone for hours.
I really loved to play with my Barbie dolls growing up and I would great really creative with them. I would put “makeup” on them using markers and I would put “highlights” in their hair using markers and even change their whole hair color. I would put different outfits on them and even found a way to “pierce” their ears and put earrings on them.
I would put make a hole with a small sewing needle through the ears of the Barbie dolls and then insert a string into that hole with a small bead on the end of it. These would be their “earrings” and they actually stayed on. Imaginative play toys were a great way for me to learn and get creative growing up, and learn a lot about myself as well.
Seven simple questions to ask yourself when choosing the right type of educational toys for your child:
Is this toy safe for my child – check for toxic and dangerous materials like paints. Are there tiny or movable parts that can loosen and come off? In practice, educational toys that you buy for your child are meant to be used in a certain way, but a kid’s gonna do crazy, silly, off-the-wall things with that toy other than what it was meant for. Will the toy still be safe in these situations?
Is it a “one time” toy or will it provide hours/days/years of play? – an educational toy should provide lots of fun time and exploration. Will this toy be played with once and never picked up again or will it hold your child’s interest for a reasonable time span?
How does this “educational toy” educate? – educational toys can enhance a series of skills like cognitive skills, motor skills, thinking and reasoning skills and mind-muscle coordination. Is the toy going to inspire manipulation and exercise one of these skills in my child or will it just sit there and look cute?
Is this toy right for my child’s age/development? – choose educational toys based on age and ability. Children are keen learners as long as the toy is within their range of possible success. A toy that is too far above their development will only serve to frustrate. Likewise, a toy that is too easily solved/built/completed will not hold a child’s interest long enough to exercise growth.
Will my child like this toy? – it is better to buy toys based in the likes and dislikes of your child. Each child has a special preference for a particular type of toy. Girl and boy divisions are not the only considerations. Is my child a rough-and-tumble kid who bulldozes through play? Or a fastidious practitioner of self-organized play? Do they like horses, or goats? Red, or orange?
Will this toy inspire creativity along with learning? – it is well proven fact that almost all children learn more successfully if creation is occurring at the same time. Toys that are musical, toys that encourage kids to draw or paint, toys that urge them to write or tell a story. These kinds of toys can help your kiddo develop their artistic and imaginative skills, and help teach them to find the fun in learning.
Who can help me decide? – as your child enters preschool and kindergarten stages, his or her teachers can help you with choosing toys that satisfy his or her current developmental level and chronological and mental age. Also, question other moms and kiddos about their positive/negative educational toy purchases.
A few classical educational toys to consider for your child at what age:
Infants to babies six months old – their visual and mental perception is quite restricted or limited, so ensure that you are buying toys in bright, vivid, attractive and contrasting colors (even black and white). Consider activity and play centers and crib based toys, and because they love high-pitched and musical sounds at these ages, chimes, light musical instruments, rattles, sound producing teething rings, colorful “crunchy” pictured and patterned quilts and pads.
Six to nine months of age – colorful building blocks, multi-activity boxes and basic cubes, colored stacking rings and bathing toys. Introduce highly textured toys to provide variety.
- Nine months to a year – your child is old enough and agile enough now to play, enjoy, understand, and learn from different toys like nesting cups, stacking cones, push and pull toys, large crayons, drawing boards, musical instruments, buckets, and stacking blocks.
I loved to enjoy a good Rubiks cube growing up. My grandpa had a huge love of learning and he was a very intelligent man. He would always have some mind-stimulating activities and games for my brother and I, and we would always be eager to try a new challenge. Our grandpa gave us a Rubiks cube when we were little and we had tons of fun with it.
The Rubiks cube that we enjoyed was challenging but so satisfying when we found the right solution. We then saw if we could get to the solution faster and faster. The cube would be fun to play with when on vacation or in our bedroom after we got home from school or outdoors when we were at the beach. The cube was a great way for us to challenge our minds.
I love to display the original Rubiks cube in my home to this day. The cube is a great reminder of the value of learning new things and challenging your mind. I love to find some new puzzles to experiment with now that I all grown up, and it is always cool to be able to come back to the Rubiks cube and to see if I still have it.
I loved doing some puzzles and doing some fun learning games growing up with my brother. We loved to bond over a great puzzle and to show off the final result to our parents and to our friends. It was such an interesting journey to work on a puzzle, whether it was a bigger one or a smaller one. We would be preoccupied with a puzzle for hours.
A bigger puzzle was a great challenge for us and we would work on it every day for a long time. We would get the puzzle done little by little and we would feel really accomplished when the whole thing was finished. We loved to create some beautiful nature scenes especially. Now that I have my own kids, I love getting them some great puzzles.
Getting some nice kids’ puzzle games for my own kids helps them to grow and bond and learn just like my brother and I did when we were growing up. The puzzle games come in all sorts of designs and levels of difficulty, so I can always find something that works really well for my kids. I can get them some great games that help them to learn a lot and have fun doing it.
My boyfriend loves football and he is pretty obsessed with it. He watches games every weekend and he follows his favorite college and NFL teams diligently. He is willing to put his plans on hold for a football game and spend much of his weekend watching football. He even gets his smartphone out and watches football on his little screen when he can’t watch it on a bigger screen.
It is kind of cute to watch my boyfriend be so into his football and I love getting him some football-themed gifts. I like to get him some football-themed board games especially, since he loves board games and we can have so much fun playing them with friends and with family. It is so nice to get together and to enjoy a great board game.
Finding a football dice game was a great idea for my boyfriend as a gift recently. The game that I got him has been ideal for him and I love that it lets him be the crazy fan that he is. The game contains all of the NFL teams, so he can be sure that his favorite team the Seattle Seahawks is there. A great dice game is just what my boyfriend was needing.