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It seems that every toy company and baby book on the market is encouraging you to get your child learning earlier and earlier. It might seem a little counter-intuitive to let your pretend play-loving toddler sit down with a book of flash cards, and you would be right. It is a young child's job to play all day. Of course, that doesn't mean that he or she can't learn a little in the process. The trick is to find a good selection of learning toys that encourage play and teach a few basic skills along the way.
Toys for the youngest members of the family should focus on developing motor skills, since those are typically the first skills to develop. Encourage hand-eye coordination with learning toys like mobiles and play gyms, then move on to walkers and ride-ons for the toddler crowd. These children will love to learn concepts like object permanence through peek-a-boo books and games. As they approach pre-school age, they can learn about household duties from mom and dad as they play along with toy tools, kitchen sets and other family toys that help them learn about cooking, cleaning and home repair or maintenance. Young children may also enjoy interactive dolls and stuffed animals that say their names and sing alphabet and counting songs.
Educational board games are another great way to institute learning along with a lot of fun. Regular board games teach counting, colors and social skills and children wait to take a turn. However, some games rely on children to practice math skills or recite reading lessons in order to beat the game. While flash card drills can be intimidating, board games are a fun way to practice the things children learn every day. Even dominoes can teach math skills, but you can buy domino sets that do more than help your children learn numbers; they can match up math equations with answers to build a winning train.
Electronic learning toys are among the most popular style of learning toys for school age kids. Small tablets and gaming systems from companies like LeapFrog and Kurio toys encourage a multimedia approach to learning. Your children can download games and applications that teach any number of subjects, from math and science to reading and writing to creativity and social skills. The games are fairly inexpensive and can provide hours of game play that is educational and age appropriate.
Of course, many children learn the most through good old-fashioned play time, which is why a fully stocked toy box is the perfect way to help your children practice language and social skills. Building blocks and rail sets stimulate creativity, while interactive dolls like Baby Alive dolls give kids an outlet for their nurturing side. Kmart has all of the perfect learning toys you need to get your child outperforming the rest of the class. Check out our large selection of educational toys and take one home today without breaking the bank.