The educative STEM toys integrate the concepts related to the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics with play-based learning. They spark the interests of young kids who are innately inquisitive to equip them with the skills that might prove relevant for their higher education.
February 01, 2019
Toys are one of the major essential facilitators of the learning experiences for a child. Children who engage in play experiences are likely to have more well-developed memory skills, better speech and language development, and are able to have a sense of better moderation over their behaviour.
Children develop skills in five main areas of development:
• Cognitive Development
• Social and Emotional Development
• Speech and Language Development
• Fine Motor Skill Development
• Gross Motor Skill Development
Different kinds of toys can encourage various types of development including motor, linguistic, social, and cognitive in a child. Toys are classified for the study as dolls, puzzles, educational toys, construction toys, battery toys, mechanical toys, activity toys and soft toys. These playthings can be further classified into as according to a research report by Technavio: Academic Toys, Cognitive toys and Motor Skills Toys
Educational toys like Alphabet puzzles, Number puzzles etc can improve the logical reasoning of the child and also aid in enhancing strategic thought, memory, concentration, coordination, knowledge, and patience. These fun and engaging toys enables in improving the imagination, creative thinking, colour recognition, problem solving and movement coordination of a child.
STEM Toys- Education made exciting
The idea of STEM (Science, technology, Engineering and Mathematics) toys has stemmed likely from the need to understand the importance of cognitive development, i.e. the child’s ability to learn and solve problems on their own. STEM Toys stands for the toys that constitute the fundamentals related to the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
These toys are also known by the term “learning toys,” because they can aid in developing skills in children that would be relevant in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These toys and games are edu-play toys which encourages creativity, logic, problem solving, experimentation and other aptitudes that are essential in all types of learning. It helps build a variety of STEM skills as it encourages problem solving, creative thinking and spatial skills.
There are open-ended toys available in the market which can be used in a plethora of ways depending on the children and their imagination. It can stimulate creativity and channelize the imagination of a toddler playing with these play items. For instance, construction wooden building blocks, pretend play toys can be played with in a variety of ways and they come under the category of open-ended toys.
STEAM Toys – for Hands-on-Minds-on Learning
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics and the toys based on this concept stimulate the curiosity of young kids and teach them relevant skills. The discipline of ‘Arts’ is certainly very important to be considered under the purview of Educational Toys.
Physical explorations not only make the concepts more comprehensible and tangible but are also very suitable for children’s diverse learning methods and are in tandem with their multi-sensory strengths. If children are physically involved in an activity, they are manifestly mentally engaged as well. For instance, space educational toys educate the children about the space and satisfy their curiosity about the galaxies, planets, moon, stars and the sun. Playing with these kinds of toys enables in bolstering up the foundation for learning, and fulfils the child’s urge for exploration, learning and inquisitiveness.
Educational Toys Market
According to a market research report on ‘Global Educational Toys Market 2018-2022’ by Technavio, the Global education Toys Market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 11% by the year 2022. Academic toys including math and science kits, language learning toys, and other toys that would imbibe fundamental and advanced knowledge in the children are designed for certain age groups. The top key players of the educational toys market segment are LEGO, Mattel, Hasbro, Bandai, TAKARA TOMY, Gigotoys, MGA Entertainment, and Melissa & Doug.
There are a number of factors which are contributing to the trend in the educational toys market. One of the contributing factors resulting in the growth of this market is the introduction of digital toys and the internet-connected devices. Smart toys equipped with artificial intelligence are also significantly contributing to the growth of this market.
Toys that will grow with the kid
It is quite a task to pick toys that can get a child engrossed and that could hone their brain development and enhance social skills. However, while selecting these playthings, one should have a prior idea of age suitability defined for particular range of STEM Toys.
Choosing toys that are designed according to the child’s level of development signifies that a child can get the most from the playing experience and learn while having fun. Hence, these educational STEM toys is always a good option as it piques the interest and also encourages different sets of competencies in a toddler or a kid.