Best Educational Toys for Back to School

Learning is a lifelong and year round activity. If you want encourage your child’s love of learning year round  take an active role in their learning outside of the classroom. No, not by doing their homework, but by providing them with safe places to learn, create, and explore on their own.

Best Educational Toys

With that in mind, here are the top 5 back to school toys that can help get your child get ready for the coming fall term by continually stimulating their mind.

Toy # 1: My First Lab Duo-Scope Microscope

This may seem like a toy that only nerds and geeks may like, but it is actually a fascinating way to show your child what is beneath the surface of the world. This microscope gives your child the chance to really peer into the face of nature.

I grew up on a farm. It may sound like I lived a backwoods, Huck Finn, sort of life, and I did, but one of my greatest joys after going out in the woods was bringing things home and seeing what they were made of and all their little intricacies. Without my microscope I may have never starting looking at the world as a place to explore beyond my farming community.

Toy #2: Smithsonian Motor Works Model Engine

Some children are just born loving cars. If you are raising a little gearhead, why not allow them the chance to build a working battery powered, four-cylinder model engine? It could very well be much cheaper than allowing them to wrench on the family sedan!

The toy itself features over 100 parts that screw together in a way that allows you to see the valves rock, spark plugs firing, the pistons drive the crankshaft, and all the other components of an internal combustion engine working.

Toy #3: Puzumi puzzles

Putting a puzzle together with the family is a long standing aspect of childhood. Puzumi puzzles offer an exciting twist on the traditional puzzle design. These are based on mathematical theorems that allow for multiple solutions to each puzzle. The number of valid solutions can vary from a few, to thousands of unique designs depending on the puzzle you choose. For even greater versatility, each Puzumi puzzle comes with a set of instructions that allow you to play strategy games against your friends.

Learning through the use of your hands is vitally important. These manipulative toys follow the same principle as the Montessori education method that promotes free thinking, independence, and respecting a child’s natural learning progression and development. A standard puzzle, with only one solution, does not allow for this type of development. What’s even better is that once your child has finished with the puzzle for a day you can then display it as a unique and personal piece of art that won’t take up space on your fridge.

Toy #4: Snap Circuits

Where are you right now as you read this? The easy answer – on the internet! The continued advancement of technology will shape the future. A Snap Circuit toy allows your child to build working electrical circuits. Not only can you build working circuits, but you can also teach your child about the dangers and proper uses of electricity.

There’s no soldering required as your child snaps together switch slides, resistors, wires, capacitors, and even a microphone to form all kinds of useable pieces of electronics. Who knows, one day they may be building these, and the next they may be engineers! At the very least they should be able to hook up your stereo.

Toy #5: Wreck This Journal

This may not be a ‘toy’ in the strictest sense, but few books have sparked creativity like the new ‘Wreck This Journal’ series. This is no ordinary journal with blank pages. Each one features prompts that lead your child to experimenting with new creative thought patterns.

What sort of things will your child get up to? Fun stuff! They will create artwork as they follow directions like “Glue a random page from a newspaper in here,’ ‘Find a way to wear this journal,’ ‘Take this journal in the shower with you,’ my favourite is ‘chew on this page,’ and many other standard art projects. It is made from sturdy paper that can withstand some destruction, and features over 100 destructive activities that will help your child get creative, relieve stress and learn something new.

Written by Matthew Yeoman

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What educational toys are the favourites in your home? Share your suggestions in the comments below.

About Matthew Yeoman

Matthew Yeoman is a sports journalist who has written for and worked with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC of Major League Soccer. Matthew is seeking to expand his knowledge of the sport beyond the borders of North America. Anyone interested in joining him may find him at: http://SoccerAndSocietalDevelopment.wordpress.com/ or www.MatthewYeoman.com.

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