Kickstart your ABC’s with Educational Toys for 1-2 Years Old
A, a, B, b, b, b…That’s how I and my 2-year old daughter learn ABC. We start with the letter A and get stuck on B! Maybe she likes speaking the letter ‘B’ so much that she doesn’t want to move forward! But I know one day she will take the next step and soon will recite the alphabets better than me! Everyday reciting the same three letters in the same way is getting monotonous for both of us. And buying different toys to teach different things seems like an expensive affair. Only if there was one such educational toy for 2 year old which would make learning fun and engaging for my daughter.
So I began my research and started looking for educational toys for preschoolers. To my surprise there were many options to choose from! Looks like a lot of people are heading towards teaching their children via educational toys in the current pandemic situation.
At the age of 2, I observed that my daughter was attracted to big and bright coloured things. Be it her favourite red ball, my brown purse or my shiny hair clip. One look and she wanted to grab it at once! And so, I wanted the educational toy to be similar to her interests – alphabets with big letters in big cards and images in bright colours.
How Educational Toys Enhance Development of Kids
Prior to buying one of the educational toys for 2 year olds, I wanted to know about the learning benefits that come with it. Is it just play and not educational or is it purely educational and no play? A balance of both education and play was my target. Some of the educational toys for 1 to 2 years old had that balance. In fact, the learning benefits were much more defined than I had imagined!
This is what I found:
Phonics skills – Educational toys for 2 year olds promote phonic skills which is of utmost importance in this stage of development. Children begin to speak uttering just a few words which ultimately comes out in a blabber! The right start to learning should be done with the right tools with the text, its sound and image being displayed to them simultaneously so that they can create a chain of relatability in their minds.
Just like you do when it’s time for your kids lunch. For the first few days you used to sit them down, put a bib around their neck, fill a spoon and tell them to go ‘aaaa’ after which you put the food in their mouth. But after repeating the same process, they know they have to open their mouth in a certain way for you to feed them their lunch. How? Because they have associated themselves with the process of eating.
Hand-Eye Coordination – Does your child also keep switching the AC button on and off while watching you walk (haste) towards them? This is just a classic example of hand eye coordination in 2 year olds! You do not necessarily need to stop this activity, you simply need to channelise them into a productive one with an educational toy. Educational toys for preschoolers come with various tools that promote associative learning in kids, enhancing their hand-eye coordination. Say one card has the letter ‘A’ written on it and from the pile of other cards full of images, your child would need to pick the image of an apple. A simple, fun,educational activity that will keep them busy productively!
Fine Motor Skills – As I said earlier, my daughter is attracted to big and colourful things and some of the activities in educational toys cater to improving the sensory-motor skills in children of 2 years. Holding crayons with fingers, flipping the pages of a book, using safe scissors to cut out a piece of paper, all these activities help in brushing the fine motor skills of the child.
Problem Solving – When you hide their favourite toy (or your mobile phone) from them, don’t they just search around the house like a tiny little detective? Well, this shows that your child is developing problem solving skills all by themselves! Not finding the toy was a problem and to search for it was their attempt to solve for it. This is a sign of a curious brain and you would definitely want to amplify this. With some of the best educational toys for 2 year olds, you can engage them in activities that would urge them to use their cognitive skills in the right direction.
Online learning and staring at the screen at such a tender age is something I would try to avoid. I don’t want my daughter to wear thick glasses before she wears her school bag! This is another great benefit of educational toys for preschoolers. It begins your kid’s learning without being dependent on the virtual world!
They might not be able to go to kindergarten physically now but hopefully someday they will. Their first day of school was postponed but their first day of learning has started today at home with educational toys with minimal screen time!
While my daughter is doing a lot more now at 2 years than she did at 2months. But she still needs formal guidance in her learning process which can’t completely be given by me. Educational toys for 1 year old and 2 year old can be your next best option for home-schooling. Till things get back to normal. In fact, even after your child starts formal schooling, they can always revise and revisit their learnings. They are easy-to-carry and don’t make a mess!
Have you tried an educational toy for your preschooler? How was your experience? Share with me in the comments below!