Looking for toys that help your children learn and grow while
having fun? Our “FUNdamentals” categories can help you find just
the right toy! Look for the FUNdamentals icons in the detailed description
page of each toy. Position your mouse pointer over any icon to read the development
attribute. Toys are assigned FUNdamentals ratings based upon these development
Children playing independently learn self confidence and figure out solutions
for themselves. Toys in this category may encourage role playing and creative
story development. Kids can think problems through at their own pace.
By playing with other children, kids learn to share... they quickly pick up
role playing and teamwork. A good cooperative play toy encourages children
to interact and create a fun environment that is a joy for all. Cooperative
toys can teach kids to express their feelings in a positive manner.
Develops Motor Skills
Toys in the motor skills FUNdamental category are good for teaching children
control in muscle development. Kids learn hand-to-eye coordination. Young
children use motor skills to pickup all kinds of sensory skills... textures,
weight, shape, size relationships, motion. As children grow, toys will also
assist in developing fine motor skills such as manipulating small parts,
using “tools” and construction principles.
Visual toys and games help kids with many types of visual relationships. Toddlers
begin to learn colors and color associations. Image associations are developed
(a drawing of a kitty represents a live kitten, but is not an actual kitten,
rather a visual short-hand for the kitten). Visual toys and shape recognition
are the building blocks of reading.
Through creative play children develop the cognitive, social, physical, and
emotional skills they will need to thrive. Playing with puppets, dolls, and
animals that have been personified allows children to work through all kinds
of social issues creatively. Forts, tents, and carefully hung sheets can
create space for the creation of magical worlds. Costumes allow children
to see the world through someone else’s eyes.
Family board games encourage group conversation which aids in the development
of complex language skills. Elementary school teachers will tell you - even
sixth graders love to be read to, literature uses vocabulary that even the
most well educated households don’t work into daily life, so grab a
chapter book to share with the family. Puppets and costuming allow opportunities
for script writing and acting.
Logical thinking is the process in which we use reasoning consistently to come
to a conclusion. Children learn logical thought through a variety of different
play oriented activities. From peek-a-boo, and fill and spill toys to sorting,
sequencing, and putting together puzzles, children figure things out. You
can see the gears turning when they sit down with a construction toy whether
they follow directions or create something new. Many brain teaser toys encourage
Learning through Music
Music encompasses all areas of child development: physical, intellectual, social
and emotional. Children who study music score higher on standardized tests.
Toy instruments encourage children to discover music through play. Shakers,
drums, cymbals and other percussion toys help develop rhythm while piano’s,
guitars, xylophones, etc. encourage the use of melody.