Toys are not merely a fun way to pass the time for your child, they can also be valuable and effective learning instruments. Objects that stimulate children’s imagination help them develop emotionally and intellectually. Oravec, J. A. (2000). Playing with toys is essential for children of every age no matter they are babies, toddler, preschoolers, and school going, all love to have a variety of toys. Playing with toys assists children to mature physically, emotionally, morally, and cognitively. Parents and Teachers should be very conscious of selecting the toys of our kids. Because learning and development are also associated with fun. Sensory and STEM toys serve dynamic purposes in this regard, let’s explore their features and benefits.
Sensory toys as the title itself is self-explanatory, are the toys that are made for the enhancement of five senses. The sight, tactile, taste, smell, and hearing are our five senses through which we get information and are the only source of learning. The idea of sensory toys is inspired by Montessori, the educationalist’s introduced sensory material.
STEM toys are the toys that help the children in their learning of Science, Technology Mathematics, and Engineering related concepts. They increase the curiosity as well as the thinking process of children for authentic learning through playing.
Toys for Educational and Learning Purposes:
According to Parker & Thomsen (2019), Learning through playing has a positive impact on child development. Toys provide an opportunity to experience a lot of activities that children can imagine with liberty and freedom. Teachers and parents use toys to strengthen a complex concept easily associating with fun-based activities, such toys are slime, slime kits, blocks, beads, puzzles, patterns, etc.
Benefits of Sensory and STEM Toys:
Kids have a natural attraction towards toys so, spending time with toys makes them glad and releases their stress level.
Montessori emphasized cognitive and intellectual education that is integrally related to a child’s liberty. Berliner, M.S.(1975). STEM and Sensory toys are the best product for your kids.
Early ages are highly important fine motor development, playing with sensory toys enhances your kids' fine and gross motor skills such as picking up small objects, catching, kicking, eye-hand coordination, responding quickly, etc.
Sensory and STEM toys can be essential material for your child especially children with autism. Researchers have indicated that children learn problem-solving skills by using Montessori toys and sensorial materials. Bahatheg, R. O. (2011).
IQ ( Intelligence Quotient) as well as EQ (Emotional Quotient) level is increased by playing with different toys. Children experience real-life situations in playing and soft skills like communication, leadership, management, patience, teamwork progress in them.
How to Choose Toys for Children?
Attractive colors, non-toxic, smooth like slime and rough like sensory toys, not very sharp, not having corners, especially made of wood or natural material are the best gifts for your child.
Where to buy?
Here at Zen Laboratory, we pride ourselves on selling safe and high quality sensory toys and STEM toys.
Bahatheg, R. O. (2011). How the Use of Montessori Sensorial Materials Supports Pre-School Children’s Problem Solving Skills. Hummingbird, 47.
Berliner, M. S. (1975, November). Reason, creativity, and freedom in Montessori. In The Educational Forum (Vol. 40, No. 1, pp. 7-21). Taylor & Francis Group.
Oravec, J. A. (2000). Interactive toys and children's education: Strategies for educators and parents. Childhood Education, 77(2), 81-85.
Parker, R., & Thomsen, B. S. (2019). Learning through play at school: A study of playful integrated pedagogies that foster children’s holistic skills development in the primary school classroom.