Educational Play

educational playEducational Play

Episode 240

Educational play is a great tool to not only teach children but to encourage them to think. Children who think, create! Besides, let’s face it parents enjoy giving gifts that encourage learning. In this episode, we explore the criteria I use for purchasing educational gifts as well as the best and most long-lasting toys that will give your children years of enjoyment. The best news? You can pass these down to others or save them for generations to come.

Show Notes: Educational Play

Educational play is not just for little kids, but the younger you begin the better your children will enjoy toys that do something. The more interactive the better, and encouraging the children to be part of the experience makes it longer lasting. This is why blocks evolved into “Legos®” and they have built an entire industry and even a theme park here in Florida.

What is your pre-requisite for educational toys or educational play?

  1. Fun
    • If a toy isn’t fun they won’t play with it.
    • Education doesn’t mean boring.
  2. Sturdy
    • Wood is my favorite type of material for toys.
    • A toy that won’t break easily.
  3. Colorful
    • Let’s face it, kids love color.
    • Not all toys are colorful, however, if they attract your attention they will attract your kids as well.
  4. Teaches
    • Some of the best learning comes from self-discovery.
    • Open-ended is better than only one solution.
  5. Long lasting
    • Similar to sturdy, you want something that isn’t just for one time.
    • My goals are to give it away or pass it down to a sibling.
  6. No batteries
    • Battery toys are great for a one-time thing. These types of gifts often break quickly.
    • If you find a battery toy (I found one that played classical music and was different depending on the way the cubes were inserted in the sturdy plastic case), be sure it will last.
  7. No one way to do it
    • Open-ended outcomes are my favorite.
    • Ideas that come to mind are blocks or Lego(r)
  8. Encourages creativity
    • No one way to do it, but more — it lends itself to engaging the child to think.
    • Something you can build again and again, but differently
    • Artistic or musical
    • Dramatic play
  9. Interactive and engaging
    • Building blocks, etc.
    • Causes the child to input ideas
  10. Kits for building or putting together
    • Favorites include tinker toys, Lego(r)
    • Art – origami, 3-D projects

Categories for Educational Play:

These categories are ones that lend themselves to educational play. My favorites are dramatic play, physical play, cooking, musical, artistic and of course outdoor activities. I’m sure I’ve left out other ideas so if you have any, post them below. Use these as a springboard and I’m sure you’ll think of more ideas on your own.

Dramatic Play

  • Theatre sets
  • Puppet shows
  • Dress-up clothes
  • Old jewelry/ shoes

Physical Play

  • Vintage toys – jump rope
  • Sporting equipment
  • Swimming pool/ toys for pool
  • Slip and slide – water toys
  • Scooters, skates, bikes
  • Playhouse

Cooking:

  • Cooking lessons
  • Kid size utensils
  • Kid sized cookware
  • Plastic or wooden food
  • Tea sets
  • Kid-sized aprons
  • Raddish Kids Kits
  • Cookbooks for kids

Science:

  • Science kits
  • Science supplies
  • Field Trips – (backpack kits)
  • Kiwi-Crate – building sets
  • Experiment books
  • Nature Center/ Museum season passes

Outdoor Play

  • Swing sets
  • Rock wall/ climbing
  • Tunnels
  • Bird feeders
  • Obstacle course
  • Balance beams
  • Trampoline
  • Sand and water play

Musical Play

  • Bells, symbols, drums, drumsticks
  • Recorder
  • Guitar
  • Xylophone
  • Trumpet
  • Flute
  • Musical kits

Artistic Play

  • Easel
  • Good paper
  • Art Supplies
  • Paper
  • Kiwi-Crate kits
  • Scissors – fancy
  • Chalkboard/ Markerboard

 


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor, Kiwi Crate!

 

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor, Kiwi Crate!

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