Whether you believe it or not, today’s children are far more tech-savvy than you were at their age. Kids today have just about mastered it all, from online navigation to touchscreen operation, which makes it even more difficult to buy gifts for them during the holidays.
Of course, you have the option of downloading a good read to an eReader or giving your kids a prepaid STEAM gift, and they are happy with that.
However, that does not cut it for some parents, relatives, and even friends who prefer wrapping things up – and everything should be positive.
Just about every parent out there wants their kids to play with intentionally educational toys that also offer loads of fun. This helps transform playtime into learning time, and kids are always ready to learn. Towards this end, it’s best to choose gadgets and toys that inspire critical thinking, reflection, and cooperation.
With all these qualities in mind, how do you choose the perfect educational tech toy for your children? Below are a few ideas that can help you choose that gift, considering your kid’s age and specific skills they are interested in developing.
Look to Improve Imagination, Creativity and Critical Thinking
A big part of successfully educating children is allowing them to explore their imagination and be creative while fostering an environment where they can think critically. Being creative, able to imagine, and think critically are all important skills both professionally and personally.
One of the best types of toys for checking off all of these boxes is board games. Despite the existence of video games, board games provide a unique opportunity to not only spend time with children but also help them learn.
Many games provide creative ways to play and win, allow for imagination when it comes to strategy, and make players think critically. Not only will these games help them learn new skills and put them to the test, but they can also be a ton of fun.
If your child is old enough, or you feel comfortable with it, you could also introduce them to a game like Dungeons & Dragons. This game is all about being creative and letting your imagination run wild with the setting, character design, and how to deal with roadblocks and obstacles.
Be sure to pick up some new dice, mini-figures, game mats, and other accessories as D20Collective.com suggests, to get your children or teens even more invested and interested in the game.
All in all, there are thousands of different board games out there, each of which can not only offer a fun time but also a unique experience to learn or practice skills at the same time.
Unfortunately, not all toys marked as educational on physical and virtual store shelves are appropriate across all ages. This requires putting some thought into your kid’s age while choosing that toy. The good news is that most toys on the market have suggested ages clearly labeled on the package, which will steer you in the right direction.
However, keep in mind that even if your child can use a toy marked for an older one; look at the parts. Most toys for older children feature small parts that are likely choking hazards for your younger adventurer. For example, electronic devices may have pointers that are more than likely to cause injury in younger kids.
Apart from looking out for small parts in toys, it’s also critical you consider the kind of language used within a toy. Most toys designed for the younger audience use easy vocabulary, with simpler concepts compared to toys used by older kids. Choosing the appropriate language helps keep your child from getting frustrated while dealing with the toys, and prevents information overload on the part of your child.
Kids’ educational toys are designed for diverse applications. You need to anticipate what your child is likely to learn while playing with a certain toy. Some of the skills children learn from tech educational toys include basic math, foreign languages, spelling, and even computer programming – you can always get multiple toys that focus on different skills.
When choosing a toy, remember to consider the child’s interests. Choose educational toys, and check some of these amazing gift ideas by Star Walk Kids and find the ones that might correspond to your child’s favorite subjects or activities. Doing this helps them develop a skill in something they are genuinely passionate about.
For instance, if you have a budding musician at home, buying him or her a foreign language toy with elements of music will definitely keep them interested. This could be a toy with playback capabilities for music videos or an ebook that teaches via music discs.
Check Product Reviews
Another great way to get the perfect toy for your young one is by looking at product reviews of products you are interested in. These reviews are usually on resources like tech and parenting magazines, educational or parenting blogs, online shopping platforms, and even supplier websites. The reviews will ultimately help you choose between similarly featured toys.
For instance, if you are looking at two robot toys, it may be hard to choose the best one. Reviews on the Internet can provide insightful information on how children interact with each robot. Also, the reviews will give you a list of the best features in each robot.
Several educational toys require a connection to a smartphone to operate or carry out extra activities. Some games even have apps that need to be downloaded to your smartphone so kids can enjoy all their features. While choosing the toy, consider if smartphone connectivity is a feature you would want.
For instance, some robots are controlled by smartphone apps. Other gadgets offer additional activities or games once they are connected to a smartphone.
Find out more about specific educational toys from your friends or friends to your child. Perhaps you could consult with your kids’ teachers for guidance on the best toys or subjects toys can help your child learn. Friends and relatives are also a vital source of the best educational toys that may have worked well in the past.
Actively seeking out recommendations helps you identify the best options that can help your child improve his or her weaknesses. Also, family and friends’ opinions on possible good toys are more relevant compared to generic product reviews online.
While designed for kids, even the most sturdy educational tech toy eventually breaks down. Fortunately, most of these toys are not expensive, and the expensive ones usually have warranties that protect them in the event of accidents.
When your kids use technology, it does not mean that they need to be glued to tablet or video game screens all day. The market has an extensive range of educational gadgets that not only entertain but also help your kid develop various important skills. When choosing an intelligent gift for your tech-savvy kid, take into consideration the factors above.