Electronic learning games have always been a great way for parents and grandparents, who prefer their gifts have some obvious long-term benefits, to buy the children in their life electronic products to entertain and engage them.
It is easy to buy presents that are immediately interesting and provide a welcome distraction and electronic games certainly fulfil that role. But, rather than offering straight forward entertainment for toddlers and young children, who are in the prime learning years of their lives, take advantage of their natural enthusiasm to learn by offering a gift that is both engaging and educational at the same time.
Educational toys for children offer a compromise for parents who want their children to be technologically savy but without the potential for pure mind-numbing escapism and distraction. Electronic learning games such as the Leapster or Tag Reader are designed to be highly entertaining but are also dedicated to making sure they have a significant educational component as well. By applying simple game structures to essential learning principles these educational devices can impart knowledge with no overt “education”, just play.
Playing has always been a way to teach younger children essential life skills and basic literacy and numeracy ideas. Many children’s games teach a variety of specific skills without being explicit about it. Think of hopscotch for example, how many things does a child pick up when they learn to play and repeatedly play this game of hopping on numbered squares? Alot!
Board games take this play learning to another level and give it more structure. Monopoly and Scrabble are two of the most obvious examples of games where children have fun learning about reading and maths without realising they are being educated while they play. Interactive educational toys take this concept top the next level by engaging kids with sounds and moving images and asking them to respond to specific commands.
Kids love interactive toys, so make sure you offer them one with long-term benefits.