How Educational Toys can Benefit your Child's Development

Apr 22, 2013

This is a sponsored post.
Spielgaben, educational toys for kids

If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that we advocate for the benefits of learning through play. Here we regularly show you ways to play and learn with your kids, generally using things you can find around the house as well as basic art and craft supplies. However, despite using as many recyclable materials as we can in our play we have still bought and been given lots of toys for our kids. Whilst we don't show you all of that play on the blog, it is still a big part of how our children play and learn.

The toys that we choose to buy for our kids can make a difference in their development. Being presented opportunities to see, play with and experience specific materials will present different challenges, require different skill sets and cover different learning areas. Children can learn from any toy, (or anything they deem to be a toy), but the amount, depth and breadth of the learning depends on the interaction between the child and it, and the type of opportunities the toys provide. Further learning can also occur when the child plays cooperatively with peers or adults.

Educational Toys encourage specific learning areas such as Literacy, Maths, Science, Music etc. and are often more expensive than "regular toys" as (hopefully) more thought has gone into the educational benefits and the usefulness for your child and I find they are more often built to last. This isn't always the case though so it is important when choosing toys for your children that you consider a few points.

Some questions to consider when choosing a toy for your child.

  • What areas of learning will this allow my child to experience?
  • What different skills will my child need/develop playing with this toy?
  • Are there different ways for my child to play and engage with the toy?
  • Will the toy grow with them?
  • Will the toy last?
  • Can the toy be played independently?
  • Can the toy be cooperatively played with?
  • Does the toy encourage creative thinking?

Thinking about these things first can save you a lot of money because toys nowadays aren't cheap and if they're not going to last and your children aren't going to see many benefits from them and be kept engaged over time, then they are probably just wasting your money. If I round up all the virtually useless toys we've had at our place and their combined price, I shudder to think how that money could have been better spent.

I am always on the lookout for excellent quality, open-ended educational toys (as birthday's and Christmases seem to roll around so quickly!), so when I was contacted by Jim Kim, the founder of Kidsground, introducing me to his newly designed Spielgaben Toy-Based Educational Learning System, I was keen to find out more. After going over the Spielgaben Website and checking it out for myself, I was absolutely delighted to agree to try out one of their sample models in anticipation of the upcoming production of the first batch of clean, beautifully re-engineered Spielgaben Educational Aids. 
(I actually can't imagine anyone with a background in education not drooling over these toys. All my teacher friends that I've shown have just loved them)

Please note: The first batch of Spielgaben will be available only in Australia. However, keep an eye out as Spielgaben will be available to the US through Amazon later this year and to the UK early next year.

Here is just a small amount of the fun we had with just 3 of the 13 sets. We have only brushed the surface of the potential of this educational play-based learning system.

Helping with my design (in case you're thinking she's a genius haha)

"Can I please keep building instead of reading books tonight?... I know! I could make and tell the story myself!"

As you can see, we just adore these toys. The potential for learning is huge and the materials themselves are just beautiful. I absolutely love wooden toys for children and these definitely meet my approval with high-quality, 100% certified-sustainable solid timber and toxin-free materials. This is a set that should last a lifetime.

A brief background about Spielgaben. What makes it so special?
  • The original inventor of this toy is German educator and founder of Kindergarten, Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852). His methods of learning formed the basis of Kindergarten and Montessori and was played by some of the Western World's Greatest Minds including, Albert Einstein  Buckminster Fuller, Frank Lloyd Wright, Paul Klee & Piet Mondrian. (You may have heard of some of them!)
  • Frobel's original toys are still available but without proper training it is difficult for parents to get their full potential.  This is why they've re-engineered the 19th century version to current day standards and spent a great amount of time working with educators to demystify this great toy's potential and make it easy and accessible for those with no training to use with their children. 

What are the benefits?
  • Boost Creativity
  • Improve thinking skills
  • Develop maths and science skills
  • Significantly increase children's IQ
  • Open ended play with endless possibilities
  • Enhance children's natural gifts
  • Allow children to develop deep and intuitive understandings of the mathematical and geometric principals
  • Grows with the child. Used in different ways over a lifetime
  • Encourages interaction and quality time between child and parent 
  • Includes 4 full-colour curriculum-based user guides in digital format. Over 700 pages to help you get the most from Spielgaben.
  • Beautiful wooden set, all in their own wooden storage boxes and kept complete in a wooden cart

How can I own them?

Spielgaben, like most good educational toys is not cheap so you need to look beyond the initial cost and evaluate the value for your family, remembering that these will be played with over a lifetime. I know that if I added up the amount I've spent on Lego and wooden Thomas the Tank Engine sets, both I have spent more money on, which is fine because I know the value and the time that we will get out of those toys.

Early Learning Centres, Kindergartens and Schools should also be having a look at these fabulous learning materials that could be used in different ways over all the age groups.

For a limited time, you have the chance to own the first completed sets of Spielgaben at a greatly reduced price. 

In order to listen carefully to first time users and glean valuable feedback, the company is running a crowd funding project to produce the first batch. What this means for your family, centre or school is that you have the chance now to own one at over 30% off. That is a saving of $200 but this offer is limited to the initial backers and once they have gone into production the offer will not be repeated.

To take advantage of this great offer and to see more details, go here.
For even more details, check out the Spielgaben Website.

Please note: Sorry guys, the first batch of Spielgaben will be available only in Australia. However, keep an eye out as Spielgaben will be available to the US through Amazon later this year and to the UK early next year.

Happy Playing,
Debs :)

{Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Spielgaben. In lieu of payment I have chosen to receive a new Spielgaben set when they are produced. My children were not happy about us having to return the sample set! As always, all opinions remain my own}

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