Finding the right educational toys for your child can be tricky. Most toys have an age range on them, but that range usually refers to the ages that the toy is safe for, not the ages that it’s learning level is appropriate for. Even toys that are designed for a specific age range may not be on the level of some kids in that age range.
The best way to determine which toys are right for your child is on a case-by-case basis. Different children learn at different rates. Some may be behind the average child of the same age, while others may be ahead. In order to determine what is appropriate for your child, you will need to assess how he is doing with the things he already plays with.
If your child appears to have mastered all of the games and puzzles he currently has, he needs something more challenging. That doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of his favorite toys. It just means that he needs things that are not so easy for him in addition to the things he is comfortable with. Children need challenges in order to learn and not providing those challenges will result in boredom.
If your child is struggling with toys and games designed for kids his age, it might be time to back up a little. It could be that he didn’t quite master skills that he needed earlier in life and those skills are a prerequisite to the things kids his age are doing. The toys he had when he was younger may not have even covered those skills. Either way, there is no shame in going back and teaching those skills to your child. You can put the things he is struggling with away until he is ready for them.
What If My Child Needs To Learn Certain Skills For School?
If your child has fallen behind and is not ready for school, you may need to hold off on putting him in school. But if he is just lacking a couple of important things then you can work on them with him at home. Many schools offer assessments for children who will be of school age, and taking advantage of that can let you know where your child stands and what he needs to work on.
Once you have determined what your child needs to work on, you can quiz him on it at home. If he has educational toys that will help him with it, get them out and play with them together. If he doesn’t, see if you can find any. Making learning the new skill fun will help him keep a positive attitude and prevent frustration.
Forcing your child to advance to the next level too soon will only do harm. Not challenging him will leave him bored and inhibit his natural learning processes. By assessing what your child can do well and what he is having trouble with, you can ensure that he learns on the level that is right for him.