The first step we have to take, as a society, in order to raise children that are more evolved than we are, is to make a rigid distinction between knowledge and intelligence. These are two separate things. A person with a wealth of knowledge might not be intelligent. Toys in Child’s Education is an aspect we tend to ignore.
In my opinion, intelligence is the ability to use the knowledge you have accumulated over the years in order to create something or to solve a problem. This doesn’t mean that knowledge is not important. However, an unintelligent person with tons of knowledge is as useless to society as an intelligent person without any knowledge.
Importance of Toys in Child’s Education
So, the question arises, is our educational system lacking the ability to turn the beautiful mind of a child into an intelligent mind. And, the simple answer is a big ‘Yes’.
The biggest problem with our education system is that they try to shove an insane amount of information down the throat of our children, but they don’t take enough time to develop their brains. They don’t focus their attention on initializing a thinking process in our kids.
The development of a child can never be uni-dimensional. A kid who is great with studies should also have some level of sporting skills. Or, vice versa. The real development of a child should be multi dimensional and our schools are failing to grasp that.
I think it is the right time to say that this doesn’t apply to each and every school, but if you talk in general terms, then this is the scenario in most of the schools.
How does a toy come into the picture?
First of all, we have to get rid of the preconceived notion that we have about toys. When we were kids, most of the toys were about entertainment and fun. However, things have changed completely in the past few years.
Realizing the true potential of toys, most of the toy manufacturers are spending millions into developing toys that are entertaining as well as productive.
Saying too much without giving an example won’t be right, so here is one.
Example #1: Snap circuit sets
As a kid, I have read about electricity and electronics in my schoolbooks, and I believe most of you who are reading this article have had a similar education. And, if you were from a good school, the teacher might have shown you some experiments as well.
But, the question is, how much of it did you understand then and how much of it do you remember now? The answer to both the questions would be nothing, at least in most of the cases.
Now here is a Snap Circuit set, that is usually available in most of the countries. It allows you to learn about electronics by snapping together electronic modules and by making simple gadgets. Since you have to just snap, the electronic modules together it is not heavy on your mind, and even small kids can use it. Snap circuit is a great tool for budding engineers.
So, if you want to teach your kid about electricity, what do you think is the better way to do it? Learning through books, or learning with toys?
Example #2: Gravity Maze
Snap circuit was an example of toy that will supplement the theoretical education with a practical one, and now we will look at a toy that will start the thinking process in your kid. It will polish the problem solving part of your kid’s brain. Whether you are a CEO of a company, or an entrepreneur, or even a doctor, problem-solving skills will take you very far in your career. The most successful entrepreneurs are great problem-solvers.
Gravity Maze is a game by ThinkFun, in which you have to complete a maze so that if you drop a marble from the top, it has to reach to the bottom while traversing the entire maze.
Here is the thing, no amount of mug up will help you to solve this puzzle.
You have to completely depend up on your mental faculties to solve the problem that lies in front of you. Similar to muscles, you can make your brain stronger by exercising it regularly.
This was just one of the many examples of toys that can help parents raise a child who is confident to tackle various problems that life throws at you.
Example #3: Story Cubes
Whenever we talk about creativity, filmmaking, writing, paintings, and other art related topics come to our mind. However, the scope of creativity is much beyond that. If you are a creative person, then it will help you in any field you choose.
Forget about a job, how a person arranges various things inside a kitchen to make the space more ergonomic and to utilize the space optimally also requires some level of creativity.
But, how many schools or education boards focus on enhancing the creativity of a child? Even if some of you raised their hands in the response to the last question, but you all will agree that the effort is nowhere close to what is required.
Story cubes is a set of cubes/dice that have a picture on each side. The player has to roll the dices and come up with a story involving every object or person that showed up. Since writing stories is one of the best way to open up your creative side, this toy will be very helpful for your child.
This is again just one example. If you want to go all out, then you can get a Movie Maker by Klutz. The kit allows you to make animated movies and has everything you need to do that.
These were just three toys, if you do proper research, you’ll find a toy for each and every skill that your kid might want to develop. If you want your kid to be more social, you can opt for outdoor toys like a bubble maker. And, if you want your child to be confident in front of an audience, you can get a magic kit.
Performing magic in front of the family members and friends can give a kid ample confidence upon which he/she can build. Or, a hand puppet set can do the job as well.
The parents have to be more proactive and creative in order to find out what are the skills that the schools are failing to teach and fill that gap with the appropriate toys.
Guest Post Written by Ashish Bisht Ashish Bist is a Computer Engineer. He loves toys so much that he even blogs about them. He has a keen interest in finding new ways we can use to make education a fun experience for the future generations.
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