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  • Discovering Through Play: A Guide to Educational Toys for Kids of All Ages

    BY Online toys Australia POSTED ON 30/05/2023

    Discovering Through Play: A Guide to Educational Toys for Kids of All Ages

    BY Online toys Australia POSTED ON 30/05/2023

    Stacy is seven years old and can’t wait to play with her new puzzle. As she and her friends put the pieces together, they discover that a picture is forming. What are they learning? Cause-and-effect.

    Next, they start building castles in the sandbox. Using their imagination, they tell a story of the princesses who live there. The children are now learning how to express themselves through storytelling.

    Later on, as they draw pictures, one of Stacy’s friends dozes and falls off her chair. As Stacy rushes to comfort her, that very act shows that she’s developing empathy, an important emotional intelligence skill

    Play isn't just for fun, it’s essential for children to discover themselves and learn skills such as problem solving, conflict resolution, and creativity, which they need at school, home, and the community.

    Educational toys are specially designed to stimulate such skills, but what is in their design that makes them capable of that?

    • They’re multi-sensory, meaning they stimulate your child’s touch, sight, and sound to help them retain information better.
    • They’re designed with different age groups in mind so that they’re not too complex or too simple for your child’s age.
    • They allow your child to use their hands more, which helps in coordinating their hand and eye movements.
    • They’re designed to be used for different scenarios, enabling children to use their imagination more.

    In this toy buying guide, we’ll explore the benefits of educational toys and give you tips on how to choose the right toy for your child’s age. 

    The Remarkable Benefits of Educational Toys

    Educational toys provide a wealth of benefits for children regardless of their age. Engaging with them is a fantastic way for your kids to learn essential skills and develop creativity.

    Not only do these toys offer significant educational advantages, but they also help children develop social skills by allowing them to interact with others.

    Numerous scientific studies have shown that educational toys for kids play a crucial role in intellectual, emotional, and physical development.

    For example:

    • LEGO toys enhance spatial perception.
    • Puzzles enhance memory and fine motor skills.
    • Building blocks improve mathematical and logical abilities.
    • Board games develop strategic thinking and decision-making.
    • Basketball hoops and swingball sets develop coordination and reflexes.
    • Educational video games enhance children's knowledge on topics such as science.

    Fun Fact: The concept of educational toys dates back to the 1800s when Friedrich Froebel, the founder of Kindergarten, introduced 'Froebel Gifts'—educational play materials to stimulate learning and creativity.

    Furthermore, it’s not just about learning, educational toys allow your children to have fun through sensory stimulation (from textures and shapes), role-playing, and reward systems (stickers and points).

    Be warned that educational toys from Online Toys Australia are so engaging that children don’t want to stop playing.

    For example, our building blocks create a lot of intricate designs, and the more complex the structure, the more exciting it becomes.

    So exciting that you almost have to drag your child out of the playroom because their playtime is long over!

    This is especially true for toys that encourage imaginative play, such as dress-up sets, block sets, dollhouses, and train sets.

    Overall, educational toys offer numerous benefits for children of all ages. From encouraging creativity and imagination to developing their problem-solving and social skills, these toys play a crucial role in a child's intellectual, emotional, and physical development.

    The Best Educational Toys for Your Infant (0–1 Year)

    Infants are little bundles of joy who are constantly exploring and discovering the world around them. These tiny detectives investigate every nook and cranny with their fingers and wide eyes.

    They’re comedians who make funny faces and sounds, they’re chefs who taste anything they can find, and they’re also athletes who are setting crawling and walking records.

    Infants spend most of their playtime in an activity gym where they play with toys suspended from a frame. It’s the ideal place for them to spend their playtime.

    As they reach out to grab the suspended toys, several beneficial things happen. They learn how to:

    • Grasp and cuddle objects
    • Coordinate their eye and hand movements
    • Differentiate textures, colours, and sounds
    • Lift their heads which strengthens their neck muscles

    Did you know? In the first few months of life (up to four months), babies can only see black, white, and shades of grey. Introducing toys with contrasting colours can help stimulate their developing vision.

    Here are examples of educational toys that will give your infant these benefits:

    1 - Rattles: The Delightful Noisemakers

    Peter Rabbit – Jemima Puddle-Duck Ring Rattle

    Rattles help your infant develop visual awareness. Secondly, as they search for the source of the sound, they learn how to connect the rattle with the sound, and eventually connect different sounds to different items.

    The Peter Rabbit - Jemima Puddle-Duck Ring Rattle is a delightful noise-making toy that makes life exciting for your baby. This cute duck holds a ring rattle on one end, leaving the other end for the baby to hold.

    The ring is transparent so that your baby can watch with wide-eyed wonder as the coloured beads move around.

    These coloured beads add visual and sound stimulation that plays a great role in keeping your baby busy and aiding their auditory development. 

    2 - Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

    Beatrix Potter - Peter Rabbit Activity Mirror

    Mirrors teach your child self-awareness. After a while, you can see their excitement as they discover that the person in the mirror is themself, which is the beginning of their social development.

    With the Beatrix Potter - Peter Rabbit Activity Mirror, your baby can play with it on the floor, cot, or car because it stands on its own and can also be hung with velcro straps.

    There’s a lot for your baby to see—Peter Rabbit peeking behind the mirror, a big friendly bee, butterflies and other characters.

    There are also radish-shaped teethers for your baby to get instant relief when the itch on their teething gums strikes.

    3 - The Oh-So-Soft Toys

    Wild Republic – Ecokins Hippo

    See the plush teddies or bunnies on the toy store shelves? Your child views them as a companion. Even when your infant can’t talk, they’ll still blabber to their companion as they try to hold it close.

    Soft toys such as stuffed animals provide infants with a sense of comfort and security. They also promote social and emotional development by encouraging interaction and communication with the toy.

    An example is the Wild Republic - Ecokins Hippo that’s so soft and cuddly you won’t believe it’s made from 100% recycled water bottles. Other such toys include:

    Gund - Baby Toothpick Sloth Brown 30cm

    Gund - Baby Toothpick Sloth Brown 30cm

    B. Toys - Peppy-Mint Bunny - 30cm

    B. Toys - Peppy-Mint Bunny - 30cm

    Disney Baby - Winnie The Pooh - 30cm Winnie The Pooh Beanie Plush

    Disney Baby - Winnie The Pooh Beanie Plush - 30cm

    Gund - Flappy Elephant - 30.5cm Animated Plush

    Gund - Flappy Elephant - 30.5cm Animated Plush

    With such a cuddly toy, your infant will have a dear companion to interact with.

    4 - The “ Happy Singing” Toys

    kid playing with Fisher Price – Linkimals Counting Koala

    Musical toys help a great deal in the language development of your child. The child is exposed to rhythms, melodies, phrases and words which help them later as they learn how to talk.

    Fisher Price - Linkimals Counting Koala is your infant’s learning musical friend that will excite them with lights, songs, and phrases that introduce them to numbers, counting, and shapes.

    The Fisher Price - Linkimals Counting Peacock is another singing toy that’s proven to promote interactive learning. This feathery friend also teaches babies about numbers, shapes, and colours.

    The toy works hard to develop your child’s emotional intelligence by teaching them about kindness through the various songs and phrases.

    Exciting Note: The Counting Peacock can talk and sing with other Linkimals toys (sold separately) which adds more fun to your child’s educational experience.

    Educational Toys for Your Toddler (1–3 Years)

    Toddlers are masters of mischief. With their wobbly walks, they embark on thrilling adventures that leave none of your precious items unturned.

    They’ll turn your shawl into a Superman cape and your box into a spaceship, then win you over with their giggles and cheeky grins.

    Educational toys enhance this learning experience. They help them analyse and solve their “tiny problems” while also sparking their imagination as they play-pretend.

    Here are examples of educational toys for toddler development to consider:

    1 - Word Book Toys: Portals to the Realm of Words

    Vtech - Paw Patrol Mighty Pups Touch & Teach Word Book

    Your toddler is already learning new words every day, and a word book will help add to their vocabulary of words.

    Word books are magical portals to a world filled with colourful pictures and words that captivate your little explorer and make language learning fun and interactive.

    Looking for a word book for your toddler based on popular children’s shows? Vtech Paw Patrol Mighty Pups Touch and Teach Word Book is based on the popular Paw Patrol show.

    This toy features 10 interactive pages and over 40 colourful illustrations. When your child touches a picture, bright and colourful illustrations pop up along with the corresponding words.

    They can also play exciting games with this toy, such as finding the matching object or finding letters corresponding to different sounds.

    2 - The Brain-Teasing Shape Sorters

    baby playing with Fisher Price - Baby's First Blocks

    Shape sorters are a great way to teach toddlers about shapes and colours while helping to develop their problem-solving skills. The toys also promote hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

    Shape sorters typically consist of a container with differently-shaped openings where the child fits corresponding blocks through them. This teaches them about shapes and lays the foundation for more complex concepts in future.

    Try the Fisher Price - Baby’s First Blocks and watch in amusement as your kid tries passing blocks through the wrong hole. Then the joke is on you as they learn how to do it so well that they want to do it over and over.

    3 - The Push and Pull Pals

    baby pushing a Thomas and Friends – Wobble Cargo Stacker Train

    That cart or wagon with a handle you brought home is more than a toy to your toddler, it’s an assistant that helps them improve their walking.

    Push and pull toys help toddlers improve their balance and coordination. They also support their physical development since they encourage physical activity through all the pushing and pulling.

    This Pintoy - Happy Car Sorter is a two-in-one toy. First, it’s a pull-along car that will keep your toddler’s body active as they tug this companion along.

    Secondly, and also interesting is that this car is also a shape sorter. It has geometric-shaped openings all over its body where your child will have fun fitting the corresponding blocks.

    A great push-along toy for your toddler is the Thomas and Friends - Wobble Cargo Stacker Train that allows your toddler to stack eight different cargo pieces. Then they’ll push the train and get excited as the “excess” cargo wobbles with each movement.

    4 - The Play-Pretend Toys

    Sylvanian Families – Kitchen Island 5442

    Pretend play toys resemble items or characters from real life and they encourage toddlers to use their imagination and creativity. These toys also promote role-playing hence improving toddlers’ socialisation skills.

    In the land of pretend-play, play kitchens are restaurants bustling with dining activity, puppets become firefighters and policemen, while dress costumes transform these toddlers into Superman with his kryptonite or Spiderman with his web-shooting skills.

    Check out these incredible pretend-play toys and costumes your toddlers will love:

    Top Educational Toys for Your Preschooler (3–5 Years)

    Preschoolers are at a crucial stage in their development where they begin to learn important skills that will serve as a foundation for their academic and social lives.

    They embark on exciting adventures each day in the classroom as they transform plain paper into vibrant art with their crayons.

    They’re also architects and engineers who build towering structures and mighty bridges with their building blocks. They’ll go as far as their imagination takes them.

    Educational toys play an essential role during this stage as they help preschoolers develop their critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills.

    Here are examples of toys that will help your preschooler learn while having fun:

    1 - Writing Toys: The Wordsmiths

    kid writing on the Fisher Price – Think & Learn – Alpha Slidewriter

    Now that your preschooler is learning how to draw and write, you can give them a push with the help of a writing toy.

    Writing toys include slide writers, magnetic drawing boards, dry erase boards, and trace-and-learn boards.

    Practising writing has never been more fun than with the Fisher Price - Think & Learn - Alpha Slide Writer. This toy has movable alphabet tiles that your child can arrange to display the name before writing it down.

    Then they’ll use the specially designed pen to write. This pen is intended to help children develop fine motor skills.

    Besides improving your preschooler's motor skills, writing toys improve their hand and eye coordination in an engaging way.

    2 - The Amazing Mazes

    Melissa and Doug – Magnetic Wand – Number Maze

    Mazes are an interesting yet educational tool, especially when it comes to developing your preschooler’s problem-solving skills.

    They also help them develop spatial awareness. As they move through the maze, their visual perception is sharpened to understand their position in relation to the few available paths, which helps them understand distance and directions.

    One such maze is the Melissa and Doug - Magnetic Wand - Number Maze where the animals are counting on your preschooler to fill each basket with the correct number of apples and move them to different areas.

    This they’ll do by adding and subtracting. It’s a fun way of doing maths, right?

    The game makes counting and number matching more attractive than it normally is, which helps to improve their number recognition and counting skills.

    3 - The Water-Loving Toys

    two kids playing with the AquaPlay Mountain Lake 1542

    Water toys are great for teaching your child scientific concepts. For example, observing a toy boat floating on water teaches them about buoyancy. They also learn about water flow, cause-and-effect, and other concepts.

    These toys also spark their imagination so well that they’ll catch you off-guard with bandanas on their heads as they pretend to be pirates sailing their ship at sea.

    AquaPlay Mountain Lake 1542 has a large canal system that will keep your kids preoccupied for hours as they do activities such as exploring caves, taking their speed boat down the waterfall, and regulating the water level using a pump.

    As your child plays with water toys, they’ll become more comfortable around water and you’ll not have to endure screams of terror as you teach them how to swim in future. 

    Educational Toys for School Age Children (6–12 Years)

    At 6–8 years, your little dynamo is bursting with enthusiasm as they skip rope, swoosh past you on their bike and start to gain interest in grooming and dressing themselves independently.

    At 9–12 years, they gain more understanding around them, fractions now make sense, and they want to expand their circle of friends through activities such as board games.

    What your school age child needs is developmental toys that cater to their widening cognitive abilities and new interests.

    Here are several toys for older kids:

    1 - Board Games: The Mastermind Plotting Games

    Beat the Parents Board Game

    Board games are more than entertainment. They require sharp thinking in order to beat your opponents, a skill your child needs even in the business world later in life.

    These games teach them how to scheme, strategise and negotiate with others to ensure victory is on their side, while also building their social relationships as they play with others.

    Beat the Parents Board Game is a fun game that you can play with your kids. You’ll go head to head, parents vs children in this family trivia game.

    The game involves testing the opposite generation’s knowledge with funny questions as you move around the board. The first team to cross the board with all their tokens intact is the winner!

    Whether your kids are playing with you or with their friends, board games promote a lot of social interaction and also help sharpen your child’s mind.

    2 - Brain-Boosting S.T.E.M Kits

    4M S.T.E.A.M Kitchen Science

    STEM toys are learning toys for kids that focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics concepts.

    With STEM toys for kids, the laws of nature are theirs to explore as they mix portions while exploding others during experiments, not forgetting the robots they assemble and watch excitedly as they spring to life.

    4M S.T.E.A.M Kitchen Science is an experiment kit in science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths (STEAM).

    It contains over 30 experiments that your school aged children can safely perform using basic items such as a tomato and fork to light a bulb, or baking soda and vinegar to launch a rocket.

    With this kit, your kids will engage in hands-on learning that will promote their creativity, critical thinking, and technical skills.

    3 - Construction Toys That Release the Inner Engineer

    Hexbug VEX Robotics Construction Zone Set

    Is your kid into anything that vaguely resembles construction? You may have a budding engineer in your hands. The Hexbug VEX Robotics Construction Zone Set—with more than 1,350 pieces—is the perfect toy for them.

    These pieces are designed to create three separate toys: a construction crane, a dump truck and a backhoe. The set also comes with tiny construction workers.

    The construction crane towers over two feet tall and it has an elevator which your kid will enjoy controlling to lift and move objects around.

    They’ll feel like their engineering career has already begun as they work tirelessly to join the 1,350 construction pieces and complete the three structures.

    As with any other construction toys, your kid will learn technical skills but more importantly, they'll also learn teamwork and collaboration, because even in real life, it takes a united team to construct a structure.

    Once you've selected the toys that suit your kid, would you like them to receive the gifts in beautiful wrapping? We’re eager to personalise your gift purchase with our gorgeous gift wrapping and gift tags.

    To do so, click Add Gift Options then select I Want This Gift Wrapped and I Want to Add a Gift Tag if you wish, then click Add to Cart when done with your selection.

    Fabulous picked toys for my nephews and got them gift-wrapped and delivered, what could be easier.”— Anonymous

    Educational Toys Foster Learning in Children of All Age Groups

    Educational toys are vital in nurturing your child's overall development. With the vast options available on the market, choosing the right toy for your child is challenging. 

    However, by taking into account your child's age, interests, and developmental areas that need improvement, you’ll find the ideal toy that fosters creativity, curiosity, and skill-building.

    As parents, it’s crucial to acknowledge the power of play and understand the positive impact educational toys have on our child's growth.

    Therefore, don't hesitate to invest in high-quality educational toys from Online Toys Australia. They’ll inspire your child to learn and have fun. 

    Providing them with the age-appropriate toys they need to flourish means investing in a brighter and more prosperous future for them.

    Buy gifts from Online Toys Australia and no matter where you are, we’ll have it delivered locally for that occasion. We make gift-giving convenient for you.

    Great. Prompt delivery and assistance. The quality of the product is fantastic and the kids love it.” — Anonymous 

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