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Educational resources are toys, games, and teaching materials for early learners from the age of 12 months and over that help them to develop skills in a fun, stimulating environment. These learning resources and educational materials can be enjoyed at home or in the classroom, as well as accommodating group, pair, and individual use.
Important skills that are developed from educational resources include STEM, literacy, numeracy, problem-solving, imagination, and creativity. These skills are essential for core developmental stages in a child’s life.
From a vividly-coloured rattle for a baby to a wooden xylophone for a toddler, to craft activities for older children, these items provide a stimulating way to develop fine motor skills, sensory development, and more.
Educational resources are important for a child’s growth and development as they help with the improvement of basic life skills such as cognitive thinking, problem-solving, and imagination. Educational toys are separated into many different groups based on the skill that they develop. For instance, toys for physical development can include blocks, while toys for creative development include art supplies. These resources can also vary for social, intellectual, and sensory development.
More importantly, educational toys allow children to develop these skills in a fun and stimulating way. A toy’s basic function is to give joy and entertainment, providing the child with a positive environment in which to learn. This helps them to achieve these skills and traits effectively so that they can succeed in core developmental phases of their childhood.
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STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM-based resources and toys can include building and controlling robotics, investigating coding, exploring scientific experiments, and more. Through these activities, children learn concepts based on mathematics and science, as well as critical thinking, comprehension, and problem-solving skills. Generally, STEM activities will include hands-on learning with real-world applications, effectively preparing children to explore innovative thinking.
STEM resources are tailored for specific ages and levels to suit all children. It is important that these materials and toys are engaging and challenging, as well as staying within the child’s capabilities to motivate them. Educational toys with an emphasis on STEM learning can provide a valuable skill set and interest in pursuing STEM-based career paths in the future.
Learning resources that focus on literacy can include chalkboards, handwriting exercises, puzzles, crosswords, workbooks, and more. These resources are tailored to suit all ages and levels so that you can find the perfect fit. The goal for these educational materials is to build a child’s writing, communication, and comprehension skills, all of which are vital for further skill-building. By providing children with engaging educational resources aimed to improve literacy skills, you are teaching them valuable skills to take them through schooling and into careers.
Educational toys that focus on numeracy can include sorting and counting kits, number flashcards, puzzles, numbered magnets, workbooks, and more. These toys and resources range in skill level so that they can suit a variety of ages and levels as the child progresses. The goal for numeracy learning resources is to build number recognition, counting skills, problem-solving, and other basic mathematic skills. With these introductory skills, they can then develop more complex skills, like multiplication and division, that will take them through their schooling years and into careers. With strong numeracy skills, they can then develop problem-solving and fine motor skills, which can be helpful with STEM-related careers.
Educational toys and games are important for building essential skills like problem-solving, hand-eye coordination, comprehension, public speaking, and fine motor skills. Furthermore, playing with educational toys and games can help children discover their independence and grow their self-esteem, as well as work well in teams.
There is a wide variety of learning resources that are tailored to suit certain ages and skill levels, starting from infants, and ranging to teenagers. Popular games and toys include playing cards, wooden toys, Rubik’s cubes, flashcards, magnets, memory games and more.
Younger children should be exposed to sensory play to help stimulate their senses of touch, sight, and sound. Playing with sand and other moldable toys can help infants and toddlers to explore these senses in a safe and engaging way. For school-aged children, balancing activities, obstacle courses, and swing sets offer a great way to build upon fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Furthermore, playing outdoors can help children to better understand environmental tendencies like the changing of seasons and animal recognition, as well as improving spatial awareness and encouraging physical coordination and general fitness.
Wall charts, chore charts, and placemats are a great learning tool to use at home. Placemats and wall charts depicting maps, timetables, the alphabet, and more offer an engaging way for early learners to practice basic numeracy and literacy skills. When you use a non-permanent marker and a cloth to wipe down the placemat or chart, it becomes an activity to practice repeatedly.
Reward and responsibility charts allow you to incentivise your child’s skill-building. They can be used at home or in the classroom to motivate early learners to complete homework, practice handwriting, and finish household tasks, all with the incentive of a reward or treat. With wipe-off charts, you can easily adapt the tasks and rewards to suit your child as they age and build skills.
Educational toys and learning resources are not just for use at home; they can be explored and used with in the classroom as well. There is a wide range of resources that are ideal for teachers to stock up on and store in the classroom that will help to create engaging, educational environments for their students. Simple resources that come in bulk sizes and can easily be stored include crayons, pencils, and other writing resources, paintbrushes and non-toxic paints, and collaging accessories like non-toxic glue, paper, cardboard, felt sheets, foam shapes and letters, stickers, string, ribbon, and more. These resources can be used for a range of skill-building games and activities that can be enjoyed independently or in groups.
Learning resources and toys are an important way to build essential skills from infancy through to teenage years, including skills that relate to STEM-focused careers.
Using educational toys, toddlers and young children can develop fundamental life skills like cognitive thinking and basic problem-solving. Early learners have limited visual perception and are therefore drawn to bright, vivid colours and patterns, which is why most educational toys and resources for this age range come in loud colours. This is a great age to introduce toys that appeal to their other senses, like finger paint, musical toys, and building blocks.
With sensory activities, early learners can start to explore and investigate through observing, experimenting, and coming to their own conclusions. It also helps them to filter sensory information in order to focus.
Primary school ages are a great time to introduce learning resources and educational toys that introduce cognitive skill-building. There is a wide range of resources that focus on literacy and numeracy skill-building for these ages, as well as fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and creativity. These essential skills can take children all the way through primary and high schooling and into successful STEM-based careers.
Additionally, there is a wide range of outdoor activities that target primary school ages. Sand, clay, and dough help them to explore creativity, while artistic talents can be explored through finger painting, sponge painting, and using paintbrushes. Playing with outdoor balancing activities will help children to enjoy physical exercise and general fitness, in addition to perfecting their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
For high schoolers, there is a range of educational resources that are tailored to not just introduce new skills but to develop and improve current skills. With STEM-focused activities like building and controlling robotics, children can achieve hands-on experience in an engaging and fun environment which may encourage them to pursue relevant careers. Activities like robotics, potato clocks, Rubik’s cubes, sudoku, and science kits are all excellent ways to boost STEM, numeracy, and fine motor skills, while painting, drawing, collaging, and story-telling are ideal for encouraging artistic exploration, creativity, and literacy. These are all essential skills for high school-aged children and are ideal for taking into the workforce as they become adults.
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