The toys that you use or see are educational toys if (a) They are used for educational purposes, (b) They educate, (c) They can be used for play, (d) They are typically made for and used by children, (e) They can enhance the children’s intellectual, social, emotional and physical development, and (f) They are designed to teach children about a certain subject or help them learn a certain skill as they play with them. But the best educational toys, according to authorities, are those that are age-appropriate from which the educational value can be derived by the children.
Some people say that the appropriate toys for pre-school youngsters may be simple wooden blocks because they may help the pre-school child to begin to understand basic scientific principles and to develop hand and eye coordination. As the child progresses to the elementary school, he may use interlocking manipulative toys or puzzles that can challenge or improve his patience and hand-eye coordination more. If your child is already in the elementary school, he can play toys that are sophisticated construction sets. For children of all ages, the top toys recommended include abacus, plastic soccer and tennis balls, bean bags, plastic buckets, a balancing board, plastic hula hoops, and musical instruments such as guitar, drum, ukulele, and maracas, among others.
If you have the privilege to choose educational toys for your child or children, your choice must be based on certain criteria. One is that children will use their imagination when playing with the toys, and that the toys will pose a positive challenge to them. Most importantly, children will feel a sense of accomplishment after playing, and develop love for what they have learned from the experience.