Thursday, January 12, 2012

Affordable educational toys that teach science

According to Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development every positive step toward development begins with a crisis to be mastered. It is this same action that is thought to take place early in life when a child plays with an educational toy; as the child masters a complicated toy he or she develops a belief that they are competent. 

Educational or "dynamic" toys are toys that prompt a child to environmental interaction; when a child plays with an educational toy it will sway, spin, swing, tumble, walk, float,  rotate, roll or fly. Traditional educational toys in the simplest form are really the best toys for development and you would be surprised how long a child will play with them when they are offered. It is a fact that children learn through touch and play so if you provide them with the tools to learn all day, your work will be easy.
Play doe and Modeling Clay
Play doe and modeling clay are one of the best educational toys and very affordable. In fact many homeschoolers make there own play doe at home. Not only does play doe encourage hand muscle development it also offers a first introduction to science. You can even take this a step further with spin off does such as oatmeal doe, recycled paper doe and homemade silly putty. If you have a young boy who likes to get dirty, a variety of play does will keep you sane.
Building Blocks
Buy traditional building blocks. Although Lego's and mega blocks are good too, traditional wood building blocks that come in a multiple of shapes are also important. Traditional block play introduces your child to physics, geometry, and math. 

Water Play
Even with older children, bath toys are important educational additions. Bath toys float and will provide your child with a sense of volume, mass and even velocity. We have found some very advanced bath toys in the pool toy section of Walmart but a collection of rubber ducks and a small boat are just as much fun.
Toys that Roll and Race
Race tracks and toys with wheels are a must even if you are in a house with all girls, especially if you are in a house with all girls. If you want your daughters to learn science then you must provide science play. Barbie and Polly Pocket are great fun to race through the house and teach the principle of force and velocity at the same time.
Traditional Games

Traditional games like Uno, Domino's, Scrabble, Monopoly, Life and even puzzles are all a must to develop problem solving, strategies, spelling and math application skills.
Balls, Frisbees and Flying Things
Basketballs, kick balls, bad mitten, roller skates, skateboard ramps, Frisbee and other flying things like gliders and kites are all important for teaching beginning and advanced principles of physics.

Equip your child to learn about their environment through play and they will develop the self-esteem to apply what they learn later in life.

Abdulaeva, E. A., & Smirnova, E. O. (2011). The Role of Dynamic Toys in Child'sDevelopment. Psychological Science & Education, (2), 30-38 

Erikson, Erik H. (1987). A way of looking at things (Eds.). United States of America: W.W.Norton & Company Inc.  

Petersen, L., Stahlberg, D., & Dauenheimer, D. (2000). Effects of Self-Schema Elaboration onAffective and Cognitive Reactions to Self-Relevant Information. Genetic, Social & General Psychology Monographs, 126(1), 25.

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How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day, and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I didn't consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I'm normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. We succeed in changing some of our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming. You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

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