Sticking a child’s head into a book, does not always guarantee a positive and productive, learning experience. I have found that the right toy can teach much quicker, giving a stronger impression of the concept, then hours of sitting at a desk reading and writing. Here are some of the educational toys that I found to encourage more creative thinking and teach basic academic skills.
(This is a continuation of “You can blog and homeschool – Improving the homeschooling experience”) Note: Check the age appropriateness of the the toys for your own child.
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Supportive of Math Skills
I like to find toys made out of natural materials…but sometimes that is not possible. Non the less, I will share why I like these toys and how I have found them to be beneficial. There are so many toys, that this page will not have all of them at once. But I will continue to add to it as I find ones that spur creative fun
Wooden Educational Abacus Counting Beads and Math Learning Toys Play Set with Slide out Xylophone for Kids Toddlers Early Development
3 in one with this unit. I like the round beads for counting. I anything that adds music is a bonus.
Learning Resources Mathlink Cubes, Educational Counting Toy, Set of 100 Cubes
This is a good toy for teaching the skills of eye/hand coordination, color sequence, and counting. There are many learning activities that could be done with this toy that would help to teach math skills to younger children. Even if your student is older, having a visual representation of a number is always helpful.
Toys of Wood Oxford Wooden Geometric Shapes and Fractions Boards – Wooden shape sorter toy and wooden stacking game 8 Sets in One – educational toys
I have used my wooden geometric shapes to teach fractions, addition, subtraction, times, division…basically anything mathematical can be easier explained with a set like this.
Rubber Road Rubber Band Wooden Board Game Pegboard and Geoboard | Educational Creative Imagination Stimulating Board Game and Arts and Crafts Toy
Although this is a board game, I have used the sturdy wooden base to help teach basic fundamentals in math. I have had my kids place a rubber band around a group of pegs to represent one number and then do the same with another number, then they can easily count the total pegs in the rubber band to see what the sum is of these two numbers added together. You can also do the same with subtraction. Place the rubber band around the first number and then go back into the pegs that have the first band around them and place another band representing the second number. So for 8 – 3 = 5 You are going to place the rubber band on a peg and then count 7 more pegs in a straight line and place the end of that rubber band around it. Now you have 8 pegs inside that rubber band. Next take another color of rubber band and start at the 8th peg (where you have just ended) and put the end of the rubber band on it. Then count backwards 2 more pegs and put the other end of that band round the peg. The child can see how many pegs equal 8 and by going back inside that banded areas with the other rubber band it gives the image of “taking away”. You can also purchase other Geoboards that are plastic, some come with pegs to make a circle….I have both. I do like having a wooden board for its durability.
Set of 35 (70 pieces) with 1 Puzzle Frame Included
Expand the Imagination
LEGO Classic Creative Builder Box 10703 (Exclusive)
Over 500 colored pieces. I have found Legos to provide my kids hours, and hours, and HOURS of creative, imaginative fun.
For the younger child around 1 1/2 to 3 LEGO DUPLO Creative Play 6059074 Educational Toy is more appropriate because of the larger size of the pieces. I would never let any child under 4 play with the classic lego size. The pieces are too small and could cause choking if put in the mouth.
Wooden Car and Dolls The simplicity of these toys leaves more for the child’s imagination. The dolls can be posed and have lasted far longer than other plastic toys I have purchased.
I was once told that the best art tools to offer a child, is a blank piece of paper and something that they can draw and color with. Many times for art we hand a child a coloring book. Coloring books are a great way to relax, but to develop their imagination, then a blank piece of paper is much better.
For children who are older and ready for training in the basic principles of art Art 101 kids 179-Piece Double sided Trifold Easel Art Set.