Today we have plenty of toys to choose for our children, and parents often make mistakes in choosing the right ones for their kids There is a lot of toys that have no educational purpose at all, but kids love them because of their flashy gadgetry, sounds that they make or actions they perform. Parents should consider couple of things before buying toys, not just picking the one their kid likes the most at that moment.
When my son was born, I wanted to buy him toys that will help him learn important things and improve his development. There was a problem! Markets are full of plastic toys, and often toys are separated in toys for girls and toys for boys. It was not easy to find quality educational toys in the sea of pink and blue ones. As any other kid, my son had plastic toys too. Some of them were educational, but mostly they were just cars, trucks, tools…etc
One day my wife called and told me that our son fell on a toy car and the piece of plastic was stabbed in his leg. That was unpleasant scene and I felt very bad because I was the one who bought him that stupid toy. It was the moment when I decided that every next toy for my son would be made of wood or metal!
Wooden stacking toys and wooden blocks were first thing that crossed my mind. Since there was not much of a choice in the markets, I went online. After some research on importance of wooden stacking toys and after I realized how important they are I decided to create a list of benefits of wooden stacking toys.
Here are some of them:
- Visual and Spatial Perception
- Cognitive Development
- Fine Motor Skills
- Crossing Midline
- Hand-Eye Coordination
Visual and Spatial Perception
Stacking works on depth perception, hand-eye coordination and understanding where your body is in space. As you put each piece on top of the other, you have to visually gauge where to place each piece both in relation to yourself, and in relation to the other pieces. For younger children, nesting toys are easier to start with.
Since the pieces sit / lock into the other pieces, their design is more forgiving and offers more guidance in the early stages of visual perception. Traditional building blocks build upon (pun intended) this skill for older children. These sets require graded control and pressure as you balance pieces on top of each other so they don’t fall over.
When your child starts to stack blocks, you will see them assessing problems (How do you build something from these blocks?) and experimenting with solutions. They are practicing problem solving skills and contributing to their cognitive development by stretching their brains. Activities like this make valuable educational games because they take more concentration than many of the activities your child has been pursuing up until this point.
Fine Motor Skills
For your children, picking items up and putting them in place helps them learn the important skill of intentional grasp and release, as well as how to control and position their fingers. Since infants don’t have dexterity of fine motor control yet, they use their entire hands to explore, hold, release, and place objects.
This means that larger, chunky shapes are just the right size for little ones to grasp. Have your toddler start with the biggest pieces, progressing to the smaller pieces. And remember, they don’t have to use all of the pieces at first. Later on, children can progress to using center posts to pick up and move the pieces. Since these have smaller circumference, they require finer, more controlled grasp.
Crossing Mid line
Crossing mid line is the ability for the right hand to cross over the center of the body to function in the left hemisphere, and vice versa. This is an important skill for handwriting, cutting with scissors, reading, eating, and anything that requires the hand to move from left to right or right to left.
To practice this skill, place all of the pieces on the left side of the body, next to the left hip. Have the child reach over with the right hand to grab a piece and then set it down either in front of them or to the right. Make sure that the child is using only the right hand, without using the left hand to assist.
interacting with and stacking building blocks or nesting cups is a sign that your child has developed good hand-eye coordination. Hand-eye coordination is the ability to take sensory input from the eyes and translate it to motions with the hands in order to navigate the world. This skill is essential to many daily life activities that your child will need to participate in as an adult.
STACKING WOODEN TOYS AND MATHEMATICIANS
One of the signs of a toddler developing appropriately is if they stack things. Stacking is a beneficial activity for toddlers for many reasons. Stacking blocks is one of the earliest forms of geometry. Playing with blocks is basically geometry for toddlers.
Stacking blocks is not only beneficial because it develops hand-eye coordination or social skills, but it is also beneficial because during block stacking toddlers begin to think like mathematicians. Specifically, they learn most basic concepts in geometry. Through block building children explore complex conceptions in geometry such as balance and symmetry.
Children compare like items and make important choices during block play. Think of the toddler who is stacking block, one at a time. but each block is off-set a bit and soon the tower is leaning slightly in one direction. Continuing on this same path will cause tower to fall over, which usually results in frustration, however through that cause and effect practice toddlers learn to make adjustments in their building as they continue to experiment. They stop their play to problem solve!
What Are the Best Stacking Toys For Toddlers?
Many of you probably wondering what are the best stacking toys for your children? Well, I have created a list of wooden stacking toys that I bought for my son, and I wanted to share it with you. This list is of course based on my experience with these toys.
Since I’m an affiliate partner with Amazon, you can proceed to buy this wooden stacking toys directly from my website. All you need to do is to click on the name of the toy in the list or a picture and you will be directed to amazon.com where you can get this toys at lowest prices.
Melissa & Doug Rainbow Stacker is classic toy which features 8 smooth, easy-to-grasp wooden pieces to stack on a solid-wood rocking base. Besides its educational purpose, this rainbow stacker is made of high quality wood which is safe and durable.
This rainbow ring stacker features brightly colored and smoothly sanded pieces that help children build early shape, color, and size-differentiation skills.
It is very nice and interesting, yet very simple educational toy for your children.
This wooden stacker is a wonderful way for your child to learn shapes and geometry, build color recognition and develop cognitive thinking and problem solving skills. It also helps children to develop both logic and dexterity by carefully placing and adjusting the different shapes to make them all fit.
Your child will love the feel of the different geometric shapes, the bright colors, and the smooth surfaces. With its compact design, this wooden stacking toy makes excellent travel companion for puzzling on the road.
Geometric wooden stacker is made of high-quality wood and it will provide your kids fun for a long time!
Grimm’s rainbow stacker is very beautiful toy. It’s my son’s favorite, even I play with this toy. Yes it is expensive, but its very interesting toy that has many educational benefits. It’s truly beautiful toy that is made by hand in Germany, and it will stimulate your children visually, mentally and creatively.
Grimm’s largest rainbow is giant! Cut from a single, solid piece of linden wood: measures (in inches) 14.4″ long, 7.1″ high, 2.9″ deep.
Versatile open-ended toys has many uses and inspires joyful imagination. It’s a stacker and puzzle, plus pieces can be used as bridges, tunnels, fences, beds and more…
There are smaller ones too, which cost less.
Stacking toys may seem very simple, but as your child stacks his toys, he is also developing important skills like learning how to solve problems, developing the brain’s creative part, and practicing fine and gross motor skills.
There is no mistake when choosing stacking toys for your kids, it will be interesting toy for them and they will learn many important things through a play. Go get your child some wooden stacking toys and enjoy watching them playing 🙂 Let me know which one you bought for your kids by leaving a comment below!