Simple Ways To Build Up Your Child’s Brainpower

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Centuries ago, midwives and mothers advised pregnant women to stay happy, listen to music, be around nature, and embrace good health. Now advanced research in child development shows that brain development in children does not occur after birth but begins in the womb itself. Some of the recent trends these days include the use of classical music, providing your child with references for the objects around them, and playing games with your child, recognizing their efforts.

So, it is important for both parents but especially mothers to avoid smoking, alcohol, and substance abuse when pregnant and to adopt a healthy lifestyle. It is just not about food and exercise. It is about staying positive in thoughts, keeping a happy frame of mind, exposing the child in the womb to wonderful happy thoughts and music. There are parents who talk to the unborn child and swear that their child is clever and an achiever because of this. Try it, ask your doctors about it.

Changes in Routine Help

Babies as well as toddlers and older kids respond to the stimulus offered by experiences in their home and environment. Did you know that the brain of children is stimulated by the variety of sensations encountered each day? So, you can set the wheels in motion by introducing activities within the house as well as outdoors. These will promote learning and interactive experiences. Talk to the child as much as you can. Maintain eye contact and allow the child to absorb your facial expressions. Savor every attempt at communication made by the child be it a hand extended towards you, a gurgle, or smile. Create a rapport between you and the child and you will be surprised to see that the child understands and responds.

Food for Thought

It is not just brain-stimulating activities that boost brain power, the food a child eats affects its thinking as well. Did you know, a brain needs plenty of carbohydrates, fats, as well as proteins, vitamins and minerals for both repair as well as function? In fact, many mothers are witness to mood swings and erratic behavior in their children after the consumption of chocolates or junk sugar foods like candy, icing, syrups, and packaged baked products. The sugar highs and lows caused by certain kinds of foods can make a child fidgety, irritable, inattentive, and sleepy.

Sharpen the Intellect

The goal of education is to teach children to be effective thinkers —as you know, this is what equips them to stay ahead in situations where solutions need to be found at the snap of fingers. So, you must focus on cognitive development and higher order thinking. As a parent there are a great many ways in which you can work towards the goal of effective thinking and higher reasoning. Technology has made available several computer programs, software CDs, and DVDs that are fun to use and place the children in more and more difficult situations, which they need to solve. The focus of companies such as Smart Neurons are educational teaching aids and toys which fulfill the goal of enhancing thinking, mathematical abilities, and problem solving in children.

All parents want their children to grow up having lots of fun. Parents provide opportunities for their kids to participtate in sports and clubs of all kinds. If they are able, parents fill their home with toys and games to keep their children entertained and happy with things that are safe for kids to do. Parents should, however, see to it that their children have more than just fun. Childhood should be a time filled with learning and trying new things. Parents can combine their child’s desire for fun with their need for learning by choosing educational games.

Educational games are great because they are just what their name suggests: games that provide children with fun and promote their education at the same time. Parents who take seriously their responsibility to help their children learn new things and grow in important knowledge will be pleased to know that educational games are becoming increasingly available and popoular for kids of all ages.

Think about your children’s ages and the unique educational needs they currently have. A three year old should be learning different things than an eight year old. If you are unsure of what educational games to buy for your kids, do a little research to see what kinds of needs your kids have and then find educational games to fit those needs. Talk to your children’s teachers to get good ideas of the needs that each of your kids have. Teachers will likely be able to suggest specific skills and goals that you can work on at home.

Educational games are a great way for parents to get involved in educating their children. Consider substituting educational games instead of a sporting event or an after school club that your kids are involved in. Find ways to balance the things your kids love to do with the things your kids need to be learning. In no time you may find that your kids choose educational games on their own once their learn how fun the games can be. It is a great thing when kids begin to request that educational games be a part of family time or a game night. Families can spend hours of quality time together laughing as they learn.

You can find educational games at many stores or online. Many companies are creating a wide variety of educational games for every budget. The next time you are tempted to pick up the latest video game for your child or to enroll them in an after school club, consider instead teaching your children to love learning by purchasing educational games for them.

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Educational Toys – Do They Help?

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whiles away the time, playing with toys. For such parents, and for all others, educational toys have come like a breath of fresh air and a ray of hope.

Purpose

As the name suggest, the purpose of educational toys, is to educate. They essentially make learning fun, and have helped many a child to grasp the basics of various subjects. Over a period of time, many teachers, education experts have also started prescribing the use of educational toys to increase the intellectual ability of the child.

Developing a child’s abilities

Educational toys are instrumental in developing the child, both emotionally, physically, as well as, intellectually. While buying an educational toy, you must take into consideration the age of the child. For example, a baby needs an educational toy that will help it grasp concepts like stimulation and hand-eye coordination etc, toddlers might just enjoy toys that will help them indulge in various activities etc, older children need a different set of educational toys.

Target the area of development of a child, and buy a toy accordingly.

Stimulation of creativity

Educational toys also stimulate the creative pursuit of a child. There are many such toys available in the market that help a child learn the basic of drawing, crafts, or any other creative activity.  Look for toys that will give wings to the imagination of a child. In the modern world, be wary of toys that, in the guise of education, focus on the play, and not practical education. The best toys are those that make a child think and perform accordingly.

They get rid of stress

All toys de-stress children. However, these toys go one step further and not only entertain, but also mold the psychological tendencies of the child. This means that they positively affect the core of the stressful condition and try to eliminate it. Again, at the same time, they assist the mental development of the child.

Enjoy the learning process

Such toys are getting increasingly popular because they are vibrant mix of entertainment and learning. Children get tired of studying and learning, more so, when they are forced to do the same. With educational toys, children might never realize that they are actually gaining some valuable learning lessons from the use of educational toys. They will learn, but in a way that is natural and thus they will understand the concepts in a better way. Educational toys make learning fun.

Building knowledge and interest

One of the most important benefits of using educational toys is that they increase the knowledge base of the children. More importantly there are various curriculum based educational toys that are specially designed to cater to particular subjects, such as science, mathematics, language etc. If such educational toys are used at a very young age, they help in piquing the interest of the children in the subjects that they might study after a few years.

Increasing intelligence

As a general course of occurrence, educational toys also increase the general level of intelligence in a child. This is because they make a child think and then perform. In most educational toys, there is a set of instructions that a child has to follow. This also teaches the child a certain level of discipline.

Cognition

Many of the educational toys cater to the needs of children, who have not yet started kindergarten, focus on developing their cognitive skills.  There are toys that focus on the use of fine motor skills, in a child, before kindergarten. This helps a child, to effectively help in learning how to hold a pencil and to write with it.

Helps specially challenged children

Educational toys help people with either physical or mental disability to grasp the basics of various day to day activities, which they might otherwise not be able to learn. Even at the classroom level, many teachers use educational toys to explain various subjects to disabled children. Many a dyslexic child has learnt how to read and write through the use of various educational toys that are designed specially for their use.

Increases dexterity

Not only do they help in increasing mental dexterity, but physical dexterity as well. This is important for people who have learning difficulties or are suffering from conditions like autism etc. Such toys, help in problem solving and at times, are so effective that even specially challenged children, learn to read better, get good test scores, and think faster then they would have done if traditional methods of teaching had been used.

Extensible toys

There are quite a few educational toys, available that have an extensible nature. Meaning, a child can use them through various stages of his/her development. Throughout this time, the toy does not lose its inherent educational value and the child can learn something new from it all the time.

All, this answers the question in our topic. Yes, educational toys are useful and will continue to be an integral part of the educational process of a child.

 

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What Makes Something The Perfect Toy?

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Some of the best toys I had when I was a kid weren’t really even toys at all. There was a large rock by the edge a stream that ran along the back of our house. That rock was a canoe during my Native American play, a stage when I needed an audience, a fishing boat, a car, a planet, and of course, a rock in the middle of Nestaria, my beautiful make believe world where fairies came to play with me. A long stick had some great potential as did the long breezy leaves of trees and cat tails. Those memories are ones nobody could have ever purchased for me, and of course, the initiation of growing my developing imagination has paid off even today in the form of my career. As perfect as those toys were for me, I dont think many children would get overly excited to wake up Christmas morning or their birthday to find a large rock wrapped in bulky paper topped with a special stick.

At the same time, when a child is ranting and wailing and making one of those lusciously embarrassing scenes in public because they have been told that horrible temper tantrum word, “No,” I often want to suggest giving the kid a big rock and a special stick simply so they can learn that they really dont need the momentary object of their tantrum. But in todays world parents who give their children rocks and sticks for special gift giving occasions arent considered very good parents.

So, what is a person with a child to buy for to do? We all know that there are mind numbing warnings out there about the overuse of electronic toys and video games. However, these mind numbing toys can actually teach kids a few things like persistence, problem solving skills, eye hand coordination, and with appropriate parental interference, self discipline. Electronic toys really only become terribly inappropriate when a parent realizes what an excellent baby sitter it can be and allows for its near constant use. However, before purchasing any type of game console beyond the educational type, if its not your child, be sure to talk to the parent first. Its not really fair to dangle an Xbox 360 in front of the child and then force the parent to become the bad guy when they disallow its use in the home. It can get messy. Communication can prevent messes.

As for the electronic education gadgets, of which there are numerous types, there has been a tremendous leap forward in electronic education. Someone finally figured out how to make them intoxicatingly fun for kids. The pay off for these types of toys can be tremendous, as kids learn so much from them while being tricked, since they truly feel they are playing a game. You should still breeze this idea before a childs parent before running out there and snagging up electronic toys, as some parents are still resistant to the idea.

Venturing back into my land of the stick and rock for a minute, what made those the best toys in the world was their versatility. They lasted for years because they could grow with me, change with me, at my own command. As my games changed, my “toys” could change with me. Some very smart toy makers have created a few of these toys for kids that resemble actual toys and less like bits of nature. Toys that have these qualities may only last two years, but at least there is still a growing aspect that allows a kid to develop at his or her own rate while playing the games and fantasies that they construct in their minds. This type of imaginative play is phenomenally important to healthy development and learning skills.

Despite the fact that children will tell you that the best toys are those that provide them with simple entertainment, the truth is (and some day they will look back and willingly admit this) the best toys are those that encourage them to use their imagination, to create, to ponder, and even to destroy. Learning to live in this world is difficult. Learning to create in this world is a blessing. To learn to create something from nearly nothing is a huge gift. The old favorites like Legos and Play-Do are of course excellent for younger children, while art supplies, building toys, and toys that encourage creative play are perfect for school aged kids. Without the use of their imaginations, we strip children of their brightest chances, and we strip society with what they may have one day created had their imaginations been encouraged to fester and create.

The modern day busy parent tries to compensate for his or her lack of time for his or her children by investing a great deal on education. Thus, it is not a surprise how many of such parents move mountains just to provide their kids entertaining products that not only encourage play, but also instill discovery and learning. Makers of toys worldwide recognize this growing trend and are, consequently, coming up with new and improved lines of children’s educational toys and games almost every month. What was once limited only to specialty toy and game shops, educational toys and games are now a staple in every children’s oriented stores around the world, even at general mass retailers, like Wal-Mart and K-Mart. Statistics show that the sales of toys and games have declined over the years. However, educational toys have been on the rise, as more parents opt to purchase products that would give them the most value for their money, as compared to, say, buying Bratz dolls and Hot Wheels. The record for educational toys was broken in the Holiday season of the year 2000, when toy maker LeapFrog’s LeapPad Learning System electronic reading toy became the bestselling children’s game of the time, helping the company boost its sales by a whopping 120 per cent!

LeapFrog’s success paved the way for other major and small toy makers to come up with educational toys of their own. Jakks Pacific, under its Child Guidance brand, released its own line of children’s educational toys and games following a deal with Baby Genius. Hasbro released its Baby Einstein line and unveiled its preschool units, namely the Baby Einstein Company and Playskool. These new toys encouraged children to dabble in art, music, different foreign and local languages, and even poetry.

The strong demand for educational toys and games for children has urged major retailers, like Toys “R” Us, to allocate shelves upon shelves for these kinds of toys. And because more and more households are transforming into two-income families, it is likely that the demand will grow further as parents seek products that would try to fill their absence during their children’s formative learning years. With the rise in demand, it won’t be a surprise when the price tag that comes with these educational toys and games will also decrease as the years pass. Right now, these kinds of toys are still a little expensive (though it hasn’t stopped most parents from buying them). In the future, due to the overwhelming interest, educational toys and games will be accessible to everyone.

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