Which toys can aid child development?
We all know toys provide more than just fun for babies and toddlers, they can aid a little one's development in motor skills and aiding first steps. But toys can also help with an introduction to maths and even science. Penny Tassoni, author and expert in early years education and psychology, has round-up some great toys to get children off to a flying start.
If you have a two or three year old look out for the Hide and Seek bugs game which will help them to match colours and learn to count the colourful ladybirds. Games where children roll the dice or use a spinner can help them to recognise numbers as well as to practise counting.
If you have a three, four or five year olds, look at the Silly Odd Socks game which can be played at three levels so you can keep extending your child's maths.
So what about science for young children? To help your child in this area, look out for toys that will help them explore materials. Toys such as Smartmax Basic 36 are wonderful because not only are they suitable for toddlers but they help older children to learn about the properties of magnets.
Building and making things is also important. It teaches children to problem solve whilst helping them with basic engineering skills. Basic wooden blocks are a great way to start off before moving on to toys such as the classic.
To get the most out of toys for teaching children about science, join in with, have fun and point out what is happening and why.
Finally, how can you help your child with their reading. The starting point for reading is that your child should enjoy looking at books with you. Choose books that you find interesting and if you are not sure what type of book, look out for some of the classic ones such as Five Minutes Peace or the Gruffalo.
From three years onwards, point to the words as you read them and see if your child can join in. You might also like introducing your child to letter shapes.
Try leaving words or messages on your fridge using Magnetic Letters such as their name or 'I love you'. You can also play hide and seek with the letters and see if they can find the missing 'P' or 'R'. As reading involves memory, think also about games such as pairs Alphabet Pairs which will help your child remember and recognise alphabet shapes.