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Monday, September 11, 2006

A Parent's Frustration at Finding Educational Toys

You won't give it a second thought until you are a parent yourself, but then you realize that all toys are not created equal. Especially if you have a special needs child you will want to find toys that stimulate your child, encourage group play and also expand young imaginations.

Electronic toys certainly have their place and can be great teaching tools but their scope as a learning toy or imagination building toy are very limited as it pretty much does only what it was programmed to do. Imagine the limitations found in an electronic coloring book. 


Children need to be able to explore and open their minds and that is done almost exclusively through play. That's where many parents find themselves going back to old favorites from their own childhoods.

A simple acitivty table, a small box of crayons and some paper can let your child's imagine go wild. A group of children might create a storyboard together and then see how many different ways they can rearrange the drawings they make to tell their story another way. Another great pretend play toy is a simple puppet theater. 

Group activity and imaginations get to run free here. Encourage your children to work out problems and do plays about things they run into often with other children such as name calling or not sharing. The puppets can show ways to work things out in a good way and a not so good way.

Encourage your children to get away from the video games and online activities and learn to play by using their imaginations, it will open up a place that is even bigger than the Internet.

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