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The Best Age to Introduce a Child to Electronic Educational Toys?

May 6, 2008
When searching for a new toy for your child, you may experience a bit of sensory overload when walking through the toy department. There are all kinds of colors screaming at you with huge numbers and letters to accompany them. However, there are more than just colors and numbers getting your attention. There are also lights, sounds, and talking toys. If the kids are with you, they are really excited and decide it is time to turn on every single toy that makes noise so that they can hear them chiming, ringing, singing, and beeping all at the same time. Obviously the kids know how to operate these toys, which means they have been introduced to them at one time or another. So what is the right time to introduce a child to electronic educational toys?

We see them everywhere for all ages. We see them for babies, toddlers, and school age kids. For babies, these toys will have very colorful buttons on them that may make animal sounds and say what the animal is or play music for them. For toddlers, the toys will say the name of an animal when the little one pushes the button or will even start teaching numbers and letters. For school age kids, they can improve their spelling and math skills in order to do better in school. The possibilities are endless, but that still brings up the debate of when a child is too young for electronic education toys. Or are they too young?

The consensus seems to be that children who are of school age should be the ones introduced to electronic educational toys. The reason for this is because children of this age are more likely to understand the different functions of the toy instead of being constantly confused as to what all it can do. For children younger than that, it is believed that non-electronic toys require more imagination. Electronic toys do teach numbers, shapes, and the alphabet, but non-electronic toys encourage creative thinking.

Also, although electronic educational toys are interactive, the interaction of non-electronic toys ties in with the concept of creative thinking. Non-electronic toys also encourage children to interact with each other, whereas electronic educational toys are primarily made for individual play. Non-electronic toys also promote physical activity.

But the good news is that by the age of 5, a child has developed many of these skills and can be introduced to electronic educational toys to help them in their studies. However, it is still beneficial to incorporate non-electronic toys into a child's life to allow them to continue using their imagination. Although the child may have an electronic educational toy, it is still beneficial to use old fashioned flash cards, alphabet blocks, refrigerator magnets, and other such toys to promote imagination and learning. One such way to promote imagination is through the use of building blocks that allow children to build things.

Yes, the electronic educational toy market is huge. There are actual consoles and so many games and educational programs that it can make a parent's head spin when walking through the toy department. Even after leaving the store, the toys that come home continue to make a parent's head spin with all of the beeping, music, and other various sounds that appeal to children. However, despite the constant noise these toys make when the kids are playing with them, when a parent hears the toy say, "Well done," "correct," or "good job," a parent can't help but have a smile on their face because they know they have a little genius on their hands.
About the Author
Mastermind Toys offers a collection of children's educational games and educational toys and software that we have tested and proven to entertain and stimulate their mind.
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