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Schleich Animals

by Annie Desantis
(Tasmania, Australia)

Mia Playing With All Her Schleich Animals

Mia Playing With All Her Schleich Animals

Great Educational Toys For Preschoolers

Wondering what are the best educational toys for preschoolers? Read our parent reviews - and a few of mine below, and please add your ideas into the mix.

We want toys that are robust, that are an educational learning toy, but most importantly, appeal to kids!

Here's some of our favorite educational toys for toddlers and preschoolers, we have reviews on toys, fancy dress for kids, Schleich Animals, Crayola, and lots more!

Annie Reviews Schleich Animals

I just love the Schleich Animals and I think they are a one of the best educational toys for preschoolers - actually probably for older children too.

I first started getting the Schleich Animals for Mia when she was 1 year old, as we were about to do a trip to the zoo and she loves animals. We looked up lots of videos online and found out all sorts of unusual facts about animals. (Do you know what noise a Giraffe makes?)

They are a great little present Grandma can send from Australia, so every now and then I pop another one in the post. When Lyla was born, I started sending her the farm animals, though of course they are all mixed in together! For their birthday's this year, instead of animals, I mostly sent the props that Schleich produce, things like fences, hedges, drinking troughs and trees.

Schleich Animals Used In Fantasy Play

Almost all their fantasy play uses these animals - lined up along the floor moving one by one round the play mat, or often lined up along the window sill. They do tricks, rescue other animals, and have tea parties!

Because the Schleich Animals are anatomically correct, they are very realistic - I have seen other packs of animals and they are pretty plasticy and often won't stand up properly. These are all balanced really well, so really enhance their play.

They are often lined up on the computer when we skype!

There are so many ways you can extend a child's knowledge with these animals, finding out what they eat, how they live, how many babies they have. Then looking at all sorts of environmental issues that impact on animals.

I am pretty fussy about what toys I buy, I refuse to buy something just because it has a huge advertising campaign behind it. My criteria for toys is based on education and child development, and as a parent coach I can be pretty picky!

So Schleich Animals meets my criteria for a really good educational toy, particularly for preschoolers and young kids, but I'll be interested to see how long these stay in the toy box. They are basically indestructible, so they are a really good investment.

I'd love to hear from parents of older children - do your kids still play with their Animals?

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Do you have a question or want to send a submission to Annie? Simply click here to return to Best Educational Toy.

Fancy Dress For Kids

by Annie Desantis
(Tasmania, Australia)

Mia And Lyla Acting Out Stories

Mia And Lyla Acting Out Stories

Mia And Lyla Acting Out Stories
Mighty Mia - Costume Made By Mum and Dad!

Fancy Dress For Kids
The Ultimate In Fantasy Play!

Almost all of us can remember playing dress-ups as children. Fancy dress for kids is such an important part of play, and is most certainly one of our Grand-daughters favorite games.

Role Play Is Important

Role play is a major developmental activity, it develops empathy in children, imagining being someone else, and role play helps them to learn social skills.

Fancy dress for kids is an opportunity to act out stories, to perform or draw on skills they may not so easily access normally.

A child who is struggling with something may often play out their frustration with role play games, using toys or dress-ups to be the Mommy or Daddy. It can be an eye opener when you see your child being so bossy!

Of course role play and fantasy play has also been used therapeutically with traumatized children, giving them a safe way to express their feelings.

We can also use fantasy play as a way to help our kids develop inner strength and confidence. Even a shy child can draw on super hero powers and banish bad things.

Collect Clothes For A Fancy Dress Box

You can easily collect some great fancy dress clothes for kids by looking through your own wardrobe first! Scarves can become capes, anything sparkly or shiny always has great appeal, and of course your old jewelry can become treasure for a pirate, or the Queens jewels.

Take a trip to your local Op Shop and rummage for bright colors or shiny sparkly dresses. It is easy to make a skirt with an elastic waist, or add ties to a scarf to turn it into a cape or a skirt.

Of course there is every conceivable fancy dress for kids you can buy now, ranging from Disney costumes through to Melissa and Doug's role play costumes, which usually come with the props or tools relating to an occupation.

Try to find things that can double for other fantasy play - my criticism of all the Disney outfits is they are pretty stereotyped, and limit a child's imagination to having to stick to the story.

Having said that, all Mia wanted for Christmas (aged three!), was a Cinderella dress with clippity clop shoes. And when she opened her present she said "Oh! Just what I have always wanted!"

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Do you have a question or want to send a submission to Annie? Simply click here to return to Best Educational Toy.

Crayola Crayons

by Kris Bitar
(Aberdeen, WA)

Crayons Give Kid's Imaginations Free Rein

Crayons Give Kid's Imaginations Free Rein

Kris Thinks Crayola Is One Of The Best Educational Children's Toys

The best toy a parent can give a child is the gift of the imagination. The imagination of a child knows no limits with the gift of inquiry.

Children learn by exploring and being able to do this in a safe, nontoxic and creative atmosphere is the greatest gift to give our children. The best part of growing up is bring our imagination along for the ride. Crayola Coloring Crayons help our children do just that.

Imagine a world in deep blues, lemon yellows and vibrant greens all at the fingertips of a child. The imagination soars when provided an opportunity to do so. The growth of a child using the imagination is the greatest gift to give a child.

Whether it is a box of 8 or 48, a child loves to draw and create. The fanciest, costliest toys in the world cannot compete with something like Crayons. Unleashing the vast and endless possibilities with the help of Crayola and it doesn't need batteries, service warranties or charging. Open the box and the world comes alive.

This Christmas, don't forget the obvious - the wonderful box of Crayola!

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Do you have a question or want to send a submission to Annie? Simply click here to return to Best Educational Toy.

VTech Submarine Learning Boat

by Arooj Akbar

Arooj Reviews V-Tech Submarine

I know that many parents have had a moment when they were fervently grateful to a mere toy. Yes, just a toy must have stopped your child from wailing constantly or tagging along behind you proving to be a great hindrance in your household chores or the most commonly occurring phenomena: waking you when you doze off finding a little peace after a day's hard work!

Every toy has a little magic, I believe, which prevents the little ones from jerking you awake by keeping them dazzled. However not every toy has that little cherry on top: the educational advantage.

There's no doubt in anyone's mind that educational toys really add to the development of children's brains, co-ordination and learning skills. The more interactive a toy is, the more it stimulates your kids and keeps them occupied.

Educational toys are a great way to keep your kids busy when you need to get on with chores. The icing on the cake is that these educational toys provide a lifetime of benefits!

V Tech Submarine is such a toy. Although its intended purpose may seem to make bath time fun but there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. The submarine's playful squirts add to the element of fun while the VTech Submarine Learning Boat's dolphin captain teaches children about colors, numbers, animals, animal sounds and animal characteristics.

Bath Time Fun AND Educational

The dolphin also likes to play hide and seek, asking for help to find his animal friends. Correct answers i.e. pressing the correct button for the identification of the colour, number or animal is rewarded with a squirt. The squirts are of two different intensities which adds the element of surprise to the game. The result being that bath time is made fun but educational. You could not have spent this little time more constructively.

Educational toys not only enable help you keep your children occupied but they also stimulate their brain activity and since brains are most receptive in the younger years so why not make the most of this advantage taking help from toys along the way ensuring that your child has the ultimate fun and learning experience, and the best educational toy is that provides both qualitatively and quantitatively!

So search, think and choose the best because I know you want the best for your children. I'm not saying that the toy I just reviewed is the best educational toys for preschoolers, but it is an excellent example of what you can give to your kids if you add just a little thought to the toys you buy.

Comments For V Tech Submarine

Yes parents can indeed contemplate on which toys to buy - getting feedback and ideas is all for the better. Great review thanks Arooj.
by: JoJo

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Do you have a question or want to send a submission to Annie? Simply click here to return to Best Educational Toy.


by Deepanwita
(New Delhi)

An Easy Way To Teach Kids To Count!

An Easy Way To Teach Kids To Count!

Deepanwita's Educational Children's Toy Review:
The Abacus

An Abacus can be a great educational toy, truly it could be the best. Children actually learn to count with an Abacus, from addition to subtraction and division to multiplication.

Children enjoy playing with it because of it is textural and should be provided with a child abacus, which is colourful.

You can set up some problems for a child to solve and help them work out the answers using the Abacus.

More Ideas For Educational Toys For Preschoolers

We also have review pages of Wooden Educational Toys and reviews of Kids Puzzles both of which are excellent educational toys for toddlers or preschoolers. Don't forget to send us your toy review, the more feedback we get from you the better we can advise other parents which are the best educational toys for kids.

After all the real test of a good educational toy, is the kids themselves and the observations you make.

More Tips For Parents

Tips For Preschoolers
Our child development page all about preschoolers!

Kindergarten Years
What to expect with your Kindergarten Child.

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