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The debate on educational toys

Plus fun toys for the olderset!

Are electronic educational toys harmful to our kids?

While many experts disagree on the value and impact of electronic educational toys, the reality is that they continue to be used by parents with the intent of supplementing their child’s learning in a fun way.

“Technology can be motivating for children, so it is okay to use technological toys to boost letter and number recognition as long as that’s not the only way they are getting the information,” says Nancy Werner, Kindergarten teacher at Traver Road School in Pleasant Valley. Werner cautions to be critical and cautious of commercial promises on television and in advertisements.

Experts also say to consider your child’s age when determining if they should be given an electronic toy. Children under the age of two are going through a period of critical brain development when electronic media may interfere with their interactions with parents and exploration of the world around them, which is a critical part of their development.

Three classic educational toys for older kids

Rubik’s Cube celebrated its 30th anniversary this year and continues to challenge new generations of “Cubers” to have the patience and skill to produce the one solution. Transportable and durable, The Cube is a classic mind challenging toy that encourages problem solving skills (while testing your child’s perseverance!) Legos never fail to bring out the imagination in all of us! These manipulative toys stimulate creativity, problem solving and team work while kids build space ships to blast Lego men and women to the moon or build a city of the future. The world’s children spend over 5 billion hours a year playing with Lego bricks.

Monopoly is celebrating 75 years as the most popular and widely played board game in the world. Perfect for a family game night, Monopoly provides a chance for children to learn a little bit more about economics and how to count out change (a lost art!), while keeping everyone engaged in a riveting game of chance and real estate.

Learn how to choose the right educational toys for you child.