The Power of Toys: Enhancing Education

It’s no secret that kids love toys, but what about teachers? All too often, it seems, toys are labeled as a distraction to education rather than an enhancement. As a father who homeschools his child, and as a co-owner of a toy company, this is extremely frustrating to hear for a few reasons. The main reason is that children can develop curiosity about the world, initiative and problem solving skills, and focused attention and persistence through play.

Not a good enough reason to incorporate toys into homeschooling? How about this one? Behavioral research has established relationships between children’s play and development in a variety of areas, including language, executive functions, mathematics, spatial skills, scientific thinking, and social and emotional development.

Toys can certainly be powerful tools for teaching. However, it can also be challenging to figure out which toys are the best tools and how best to use those tools in order to provide your children with the most possible benefits. So, here are three tips on how to leverage toys to help enhance your child’s education.

Start early with toys designed to inspire curiosity and open-ended learning

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A child’s first five years are extremely important to his or her development. During this time children are busy making sense of their world through sensory exploration; they’re building their vocabulary; they’re discovering how their interactions with physical objects affect their environment. It’s important to start incorporating toys into your child’s education as early as possible. And the good news is, there are tons of toys to help you do that. Provide your child with the opportunity to drive his or her way into an early STEM learning adventure with Myland Interactive Car; combine building play and imaginative play with Tobbly Wobbly; excite your child’s mind with MiniSpinny as he or she reaches, grasps, and even explores counting.

Focus on the right toys for the right engagement

Many toys on the market reinforce learning or are labeled as educational. The trick is finding the right toys for the right engagement. If you want to engage your child through learning and discovery then kits are a good way to go. Toys and kits such as erector sets, littlebits, and vex robotics can directly teach real science and engineering concepts. If you want to encourage open-mindedness and creativity you should check out toys such as squigz, GEOMAG, and dado cubes, which are rooted in creativity and innovation.


Reinforce lessons with toys

This is key! If you are looking to enhance your child’s homeschool education through toys, you won’t be successful if you don’t incorporate toys that reinforce the specific lesson you are focusing on. For instance, if you are teaching your child about the human body, try incorporating an educational, hands-on game. Ditch the worksheet that forces your child to sit still and label parts of the body and instead, pick up the human body squishy puzzle. Your child will learn organ names and locations, and will be able to identify what each organ looks like all by playing with the puzzle. How do I know this is successful? I used this puzzle when teaching my son the human body. Focusing on spelling? Try the see and spell puzzles instead of a quiz. Leveraging the right toys will help reinforce lessons and avoid any tantrums from frustrated children.

Before you plan your next homeschooling lesson, we hope you will remember these three tips and incorporate toys into your child’s education. We will leave you with one last reason to leverage toys when homeschooling: When you play with educational toys with your child, it is a chance to bond, learn, and have fun all at the same time. Making education enjoyable will help your child have a positive attitude toward learning, so try it out. You won’t be disappointed.