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Educational Toys Should Be Fun, Not Just Educational

When you play with your children, you probably would ask them what they want to play with. But do you stop and ask them how they want to play? Wouldn’t it be great if they are given the opportunity to have fun while also learning something educational? Of course, there is a never ending supply of fun educational toys to choose from.#JasperBean has always shown an interest in my DIY tools and would regularly try to steal borrow mine. So I brought him some imitated plastic tools, but as much fun as they are. He preferred the ‘real deal’. So I bruoght him “Tap Tap Art” which consists of hammers, wooden pieces, a cork board and metal tacks. I had planned for us to play together whilst learning about safety, art and boosting his imagination and creativity. All very well, until he got the cork board out and forcibly snapped it. I was a bit angry when I saw that and my first reaction was to tell him off, but a little voice within me stopped me in my tracks.
Tap Tap Art

Bonding time

I remembered about a year ago or so, I saw a mother and daughter in a play cafe. The mother was trying to teach her 4-5 year old daughter how to tell the time with the toy clock. It was one of those Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn counting clocks. It was colourful and fun looking and a really great entertainment for baby and toddler as it was interactive with songs, words and phrases. I thought “what a great and fun educational toy“, until I heard the mother suddenly scolding her saying she wasn’t “concentrating on her play” (玩得不專心). She carried on by loudly repeatedly asking “What time is it if you add 15 minutes to 6 o’clock?”. She continued to ask the little girl numerous questions with a straight face. It was as if she was an interrogator and the child just sat there quietly without a word and tears in her eyes. It pained me to see that happening, I just wanted to give the girl a cuddle.
Fisher Price Clock

Make education enjoyable

What I saw that day reminded me that I don’t want to be that parent. No matter how desperately I wanted my son to be extraordinary, I wanted him to be happy above all else. That experience woke me and allowed me to calmly explain to #JasperBean that cork breaks easily, so we need to be very careful when we are playing with it. He looked as if he understood and we continued to play. We completed creating an image with different shapes and colour together. Although there were some flaws, we both thoroughly enjoyed the experience and #JasperBean was very happy with what he had created. He would regularly re-visit the toy and mastermind his own creations and I’m very proud of what he’s accomplished.

The same goes with the Thomas’ Big Pop-Up Journey Book, the first few times he played with it, he almost flattened the entire town. Now, yes, I’ve had to stick it back together a few times, but he’s a lot more careful too.
Thomas Big Pop-Up Journey

Let them play it their way

Sometimes when I am playing with #JasperBean, I admit, I already have a preset way of looking at the “game”. I wish he has some form of educational take-away from it, but doing so, I often neglected his own wishes. This is not what I desire. I want him to have his own mind and his own idea of how he views play and how he wants to play. We are both very stubborn, but I know that by changing my perspective and looking at things from another person’s point of view will render different results.

As a mother, I always think I know best and want certain things for my child. However, the same really applies to them too. Take the broken cork board. Yes, he broke it, but it was unintentional, I probably should praise him for finding its weakness or characteristic of such a flimsy material. This wasn’t an act of malice, but curiosity. Furthermore, my purpose of getting him the toy is so that he can play with it happily, not get scold at through petty little things.

A Child’s View

Many a times, friends who have visited our home have commented what great toys #JasperBean has. But to him, the educational value of a toy is not how he ranks them, it’s whether he has interest in it and whether he can be creative with it. More importantly is whether someone (aka mummy) will play with him. I know I try to guide his choices, but in the end it falls mainly on what interests him and doesn’t drive me nuts. These are preferably toys that don’t contain a hundred+ tiny pieces, take up half the room and/or is battery operated!

Perhaps toys can assist in the development of a child’s skill and knowledge. Yet, if too much emphasis is put on it’s effect and results, then no child will enjoy playing with it. If they aren’t happy, then why bother, what is the point? So you will find 60+ Thomas the Tank Engine Trains of various sizes in our home, but he love’s it and I admit, I would probably end up buying more too! Sorry S!

Educational toys should be fun, but how you approach it is what makes the difference. Making the experience enjoyable will help them retain information and also develop a positive outlook towards learning. Check out my post about how babies and toddlers engage in different types of play here. Without further ado, here are some fun educational toys that we have tested and recommend:

Fun Educational Toys

Educational Toys Should Be Fun, Not Just Educational

Thanks for reading and until next time…

Love, MsMamaBean x

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5 December 2017 at 7:36 pm

These are great toy suggestions that are both fun and educational. I am a mom of two boys and will take a look at some of these suggestions that we don’t already have. I love V-Tech! Thank you!!!

5 December 2017 at 7:48 pm

I definitely love your point of view. Educational toys should not be a burden on your kids. My nephew, who is one years old, loves the toys that sing educational songs like the ABC’s. There’s also a show called Super Why, that teaches kids phonics, shapes, and such, and he loves it! It’s probably the only show I’ve seen that actually makes kid interact with it.

5 December 2017 at 8:33 pm

My nephew would LOVE that Thomas book. I think I’ll add that to his Christmas list 😉

5 December 2017 at 9:46 pm

I like your thought process here. I love to watch my Squeak play and it is so much more entertaining when she is truly enjoying herself. Thomas is one of her favorites so I’m definitely going to have to try and get her the pop up book.

5 December 2017 at 10:07 pm

These suggestions are exactly what I needed – finding engaging, fun toys that are also educational is so hard and I always have trouble finding the appropriate gift for my nieces and nephews. Thanks for sharing – saving this one!

5 December 2017 at 11:39 pm

Awesome suggestions! Free play is so important!

6 December 2017 at 12:21 pm

I think it’s fantastic that you’ve tried to make learning fun. It’s so important these days when technology provides so many distarctions to the key points we need to learn at such a young age. I think the wide range of prices you have shown is excellent too – thank you.

6 December 2017 at 4:26 pm

Education should be fun, not just for kids but for everyone. with toys like this, kids will be able to enjoy academic activity. lovely.

7 December 2017 at 1:57 pm

I lòve this, totally agree that there should be an element of fun with educational learning. I think having the fun element makes the learning more fun for us too. #fortheloveofBLOG

7 December 2017 at 7:08 pm

Yes! Studies show that young children learn best through play. If we’re taking all of the fun out of it we’re also removing the learning aspect.

7 December 2017 at 7:18 pm

These are great options for educational toys! And I love that you ask them “how” they want to play, not what.

7 December 2017 at 8:11 pm

This is a great list. I’m always looking to buy a toy that isn’t just a distraction, but a learning tool, when shopping for my niece.

7 December 2017 at 10:44 pm

These toys are so great for little ones! I’ll be doing some shopping soon!

8 December 2017 at 12:54 am

Love this. I agree Educational toys should be just as fun and engaging as any other toy would be!

8 December 2017 at 4:55 am

These toys sound great. I would love to give them for my cousin’s girls for Christmas. Thanks for sharing.

8 December 2017 at 2:37 pm

We always use playtime for more than just play.

8 December 2017 at 6:17 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this – we’re looking for gifts for our nephew, and I wanted to get him something educational. My husband was like, those are boring gifts (educational ones) but you’ve given us a list that’s fun and educational! 🙂 Thank you!

8 December 2017 at 10:41 pm

Great list! My favorite is the Play Mags magnets. My boys are 8 and older and they still play with those awesome magnets!!

8 December 2017 at 10:54 pm

Love these toys! So much better than just giving you kid an ipad! Let them learn while having fun!

8 December 2017 at 11:45 pm

Nicely put. All too often our achiever drive makes it all about the learning and not enough about the fun! But left to themselves, the young ones would probably love the pans or a cardboard carton to play with.

9 December 2017 at 12:43 am

I totally agree! Toys should be both educational and fun! Love the list of toys you’ve included! Super helpful! 🙂

9 December 2017 at 1:12 pm

I absolutely agree education ga,es should be fun for our children…. I love your fabulous toy suggestions!

9 December 2017 at 6:04 pm

Enjoyed this pst. I feel so bad for girl that got yelled at. Every child learns differently and it’s our job to find that way. Great tips. Thanks for sharing.

9 December 2017 at 10:04 pm

These look like pretty fun toys for kids! You;re totally right, educational toys should still be fun to play with!

Kimberly Love
Author of Upcoming book, You Taste Like Whiskey and Sunshine,,,,

10 December 2017 at 5:18 am

I found this post at the perfect time! My nephew is a brilliant little boy, and I wanted to find toys that were educational but would also entertain him. Great list!!


10 December 2017 at 8:08 am

I love when I can find toys for my son that are both fun AND educational. They should definitely go hand in hand!

10 December 2017 at 11:14 am

These are great toy recommendations. It’s really important to make playtime educational, as it will really benefit children in the long run 🙂

10 December 2017 at 6:34 pm

These are great suggestions. I am a firm believer of play and teach and these ideas definitely help with that!

11 December 2017 at 1:10 pm

That’s an interesting one. We have the tap tap art and it’s always gone down a storm. Apart from when I’ve been subject of the pinning. I honestly think it depends on the age of the child, in terms of how they play and the boundaries of what they can/cannot do. I’m sure that if a school age child broke the cork board in half, it wouldn’t be looked at in the same way as if an under 5 had done it. Thanks for sharing with the #DreamTeam. x

11 December 2017 at 4:40 pm

I definitely agree that education toys should be fun too! Loving these suggestions. I’ll have to keep them in mind.

Let me know what you think!

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