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Teaching Children

Top Teaching Toys for Home and School

Most probably, you’ve heard this statement that “kids learn best by doing”. Kids love to play and there is no better learning time than the time of play. Teaching toys are educational toys that encourage children to learn through hands-on play activities. Here, we present the main categories for top teaching toys used by teachers and parents to motivate children to learn, play and explore.

Teaching Toys for Kids

Toys that Teach Numbers and Counting

Toys that teach numbers and counting expose young children to the world of numbers and figures. Teaching toys in this category are designed to introduce numbers from 0 to 10 to preschoolers and kindergarteners. Children find the opportunity to learn about the meaning of quantity, what number sequence is and what shape or symbol each number is associated with. Toys like Abacus, Number Puzzles and Counting Ball are examples of toys that teach number recognition and counting to children.

Toys that Teach Math

Toys that teach math are suitable for kindergarteners and early elementary school students who need to learn about the basic math functions and their applications. Teaching toys in this category use the understanding developed from the counting and number recognition stage to introduce more advanced math concepts to children. Math concepts introduced include simple addition, subtraction and multiplication. Examples of toys in this category are Math Skills Number Puzzle, Numeric Magnets and Math Chase.

Toys that Teach Science

Teaching Toys for Schools and HomeschoolsTeaching toys in this category expose children to a variety of elementary and advanced scientific facts and concepts. Science toys have something to teach to everyone from kindergarten to middle-school students. Instead of teaching children abstract and dry scientific information, science toys help children learn and discover new things through hand-on experiments that involve primary senses like seeing, hearing, smelling and touching. Examples of toys in this category include Early Childhood Science Exploration Kit, Famous Scientist Kits and Solar System Simulator.

Toys that Improve Cognitive Development

Teaching toys in this category include toys that enhance and promote creative thinking, problem-solving skills and learning abilities in children. Cognitive skills are key components of early childhood growth and development. Toys in this category are designed to enhance and cultivate cognitive skills and brain development in children between the ages of 3 and 7. These developmental toys help children process, memorize, analyze and remember functions and information. Examples of toys in this category include Puzzles, Picture Guessing Game and Fun with Curves.

Toys that Teach Writing and Spelling

Teaching toys in this category develop reading, writing and spelling skills in children. Writing and spelling toys give kids the opportunity to learn the letters of alphabet and become familiar with new words and vocabulary. These educational toys are designed to enhance and promote literacy skills in students from kindergarten up to 2nd grade elementary school. Examples of writing and spelling toys include Alphabet Puzzles, Guess the Word and Spellmaster.

 

 

Qualities of a Good Teacher

A Good Teacher can Impact your Child’s Growth and Learning in Many Different Ways

Teachers are one of the most influential figures in every person’s life. Good teachers are cherished and remembered by their students forever. Teaching is a hard work. It requires patience, care, a broad range of knowledge and skills for overcoming challenges. So what are the valuable qualities of a good teacher? Here is Learn To Play Toys favorite list for the most important qualities of a good teacher that encourage and support your child’s growth and development. Does your teacher have these qualities?

Qualities of a Good Teacher

A good teacher establishes a close relationship with students

It is important for teachers to get familiar with their students individually, know their personalities, and learn what they like and dislike. Teachers who stay after school and spend time with students establish a closer relationship with their students. Studies have shown that quality teacher-child relationships result in a better academic outcome and learning experience for children.

A good teacher cares about students’ learning

Teaching should not be about presenting the information only. Good teachers ensure that students understand the subject matter and are able to utilize the newly learned skills in a practical way. Children all have unique learning abilities. Good teachers use a variety of teaching methods and assessment to make sure knowledge is received by the students.

A good teacher communicates with parents

A good teacher communicates with parents frequently and keeps them informed of what’s going on inside the classroom. Personal take-home notes to parents, emails, phone calls or personal meetings are common methods teachers use to keep in touch with parents and inform them of children’s academic and social development.

A good teacher has a passion for teaching children

The saying that “to be successful, the first thing to do is fall in love with your work” is absolutely true. Good teachers have a passion for teaching. Passionate teachers are creative, dedicated and motivated individuals who never give up and show commitment to student’s learning and achievement.

A good teacher is knowledgeable

Good teachers come from strong academic background, are experts in their subject matter and use a variety of techniques to teach students. Teachers with expertise in their subject matter are able to answer questions, lead discussions and provide extra educational resources and activities that facilitate students’ learning.

A good teacher knows how to manage a classroom

A good teacher knows how to manage the classroom effectively and how to control students’ behaviors so everyone treats each other with respect. A positive classroom environment where relationships are based on friendship and respect contributes to social and academic growth of students.

 

 

Teaching Kids about Money: A Guide for Parents

Teaching kids about money is one of the most important roles of parents during the childhood years. Kids who learn about the value of money and the importance of saving will become financially responsible adults who save and spend wisely when they grow up. It is important for parents to make financial education a family priority by teaching kids the value of saving, budgeting and investing starting from an early age. Here are six ways for parents to start teaching kids about money and cultivating a positive attitude towards saving.

Teaching Kids about Money

ONE | Teach Children How to Save

Give each child a clear piggy bank or a jar and ask them to start saving money in them for a future toy or game. This will give children a motivation to save. You can provide them coins and some small change occasionally to put in their money jars. You want your child to develop a habit of saving money regularly from an early age and be able to see how money grows over time.

TWO | Teach Children about Coins and Bills

Teach your kids about bills, coins and their denominations as soon as they are able to understand the numbers and the counting sequence. Show them different dolor bills and coins and have them memorize their values. You don’t need to confuse your child with complicated addition and subtraction. You just want them to understand a $10 bill is worth more than a $5 bill, and a $5 bill is worth more than a $1 bill.

THREE | Let Children Pay Cash

Children need to understand things cost money. When you go to grocery store to shop for small items, let your kids pay at the register with cash. This way they will learn how much each bill is literally worth. They will understand the meaning of buying and that you receive things by exchanging them with money.

FOUR | Let Children Manage their Allowance

Give children a weekly allowance and have them manage their own money themselves. Managing their own allowance teaches children important financial skills as well as financial responsibility. Occasionally check with them on how they spend their money. Let kids have control and make mistakes but guide them along the way.

FIVE | Open a Saving Account

Open a saving account for each child at a very early age. Let children know you are saving money for their future. If children receive cash as a gift, ask them if they want to contribute a portion of it to their own saving account. Explain to kids why you are saving money in a bank account and why saving money is important for their future.

SIX | Let Children Know Money is Earned

Explain to your child that mom and dad work really hard to bring money home. Teach kids that money is not a free commodity. If your child wants you to buy him a remote control car for $20, ask them to save $5 a week, so they can get what they want after saving for four weeks. You can still provide your child the $5 contribution each week and have him to save it in his money jar for the future purchase.

 

Abacus, a Powerful Teaching Tool for Preschool and Kindergarten Math

Abacus is an ancient calculation tool that belongs to the time before the creation of current numerical system. The traditional abacus consisted of a wooden frame with beads sliding on wires. Abacus was mainly used by merchants of that time for basic mathematical calculations. Although many years have passed since abacus was first in use, the importance of this calculation tool has not yet diminished.

Abacus is a teaching tool for preschool and kindergarten students

Abacus is Now a Teaching Tool

Today, abacus is used as a learning tool and an educational toy for preschoolers and kindergarten students. Abacus is one of the most effective educational toys for teaching numbers and basic math to three to five year olds. When combined with parent’s or teacher’s guidance, abacus is a powerful teaching tool for kids both in kindergarten and pre-kindergarten age. Here are three fundamental methods parents and teachers can use abacus to teach math to early math learners.

Start Using Abacus in Step Zero

Abacus can be used as one of the very first tools for introducing the concept of numbers to preschoolers and kindergarteners. Abacus is more effective when introduced to children before they can relate numbers to written shapes. We call this stage of math learning “Step Zero”. The main idea is to help young children learn what “2” is before they learn what “2” looks like. That’s where beads on wires come to play. Abacus helps children understand the meaning of quantities. When a child moves two beads one by one from left to right, he or she can see, feel and grasp the substance and definition of the actual “2”.

Teach Counting

teach math to young children using abacusA full size abacus comes with ten rows of wires and ten individual beads in each wire. The ten beads on wires can be used to teach counting and number sequence to preschoolers. To teach number sequence from 1 to 10, assign each wire a number and move the corresponding number of beads from left to right in each wire. Looking at abacus from top to bottom, children are able to see the arithmetic progression from 1 to 10. Kids learn counting and number sequence through visual observation and actual movement of objects.

Teach Addition and Subtraction

With the help from Abacus, advanced preschoolers and kindergarteners can learn the meaning behind addition and subtraction. Various techniques can be used for teaching these basic math operations with abacus. We recommend starting with simple addition and subtraction using the first 5 digits from 1 to 5. The goal is to familiarize children with the concept of addition and subtraction, not teaching them to use abacus as a formal calculation tool the way it was used in the old days. You want children to visually appreciate the basic mathematical functions by counting and moving beads through wires.

 

How to Prepare Your Child for First Grade

Now that kindergarten is over, it’s time to move on to the first grade. But is your child ready for the first grade? With some work and early preparation, you can easily prepare your child for first grade education. Before entering the first year of elementary school, your child needs to have developed a broad array of educational skills and knowledge sets. We call these educational skills LMS. What is LMS? LMS stands for Language, Math and Science. LMS is a knowledge-based foundation necessary for academic growth of children throughout the school years.

How to Prepare your Child for First Grade

LMS is an important part of every child’s education. LMS constitutes a considerable amount of knowledge and information your child will receive in all levels of education. Your child will depend and grow on this foundation till he graduates from high school and even college and university. Learn more about LMS and how you can prepare your child for first grade curriculum.

Promote Language Skills

By the age your child is ready to enter the first grade, he has to have developed the basic language skills he needs for reading, writing and speaking. Your child should be able to say and write his full name, write simple words, build sentences, ask questions and speak clearly to convey his requests. Your child acquires most of these skills during the kindergarten as he interacts with teachers and other children. As a parent you can contribute a lot to help your child prepare for first grade. Follow these tips to improve your child’s language skills.

  • Start the practice of reading to your child at least 15 to 30 minutes each day. Read aloud and read together. While reading, ask your child to say the familiar words. Ask questions. Let your child describe the story and how he thinks the story should end.
  • Play Spelling Bee with your child. The way that this works is that you think of a word and say it to your child. Then your child tries to spell the word letter by letter either verbally or by writing it on a piece of paper. Use simple words such as “cat”, “book”, “pen”, etc. Invite a friend to play along with your child. Spelling Bee is more fun when there is a competition.

Develop Necessary Math Skills

Before entering the first grade, your child has to have developed the basic number and counting skills and should be able to perform basic math operations. He should be able to recognize all numbers from 0 to 10, say and write numbers from 0 to 20, and add numbers up to 10. Similar to the required language skills, most of necessary math skills are learned during the kindergarten.
Here are things you can do to improve your child’s math skills before the first grade:

  • Play counting games. Use every opportunity you have to ask your child to count. You can easily turn this into a fun play activity. Opportunities are numerous. If going up the stairs, ask your child to count the stairs with you. Buying apples in a grocery store? Ask your child help you to count the apples.
  • Help your child pay attention to numbers. Numbers are almost everywhere. Simply ask your child to read them back to you. Some good examples are the TV remote control, mobile and telephone handsets, house numbers and street signs.

Know Science

The last of the three LMS skills your child needs to develop for first grade is science. By now, your child should be able to observe simple experiments and make conclusions, know the basic meaning of heat, cold, wet and dry, understand the difference between living and non-living creatures and name the basic characteristics of plants and animals. Here are the steps you can take to help your child develop a better knowledge of science before entering the first grade:

  • Ask “why” and “what” questions. Science is all about children learning about the world around them. As a parent you can stimulate your child’s inquisitive mind to learn more about science. Ask questions and make sure you have answers prepared. Ask questions such as “why does it rain?” or “what is inside a boiled egg?”
  • Do science experiments at home. These preschool science experiments are excellent motivators for kids who want to learn more about science and what’s in the world around them.

 

How to Teach the Alphabet to Preschoolers

Are you wondering how to teach the alphabet to your child or preschool students? Most children are able to start learning alphabets between the ages of two and three. Learning alphabets is the first step towards developing language and literacy skills in young children. The goal is to teach your child to recognize the letters of the alphabets and the sounds connected to each letter. Remember this is not a one-day, one-week or even a one-month task. Letter recognition is a skill that takes time and patience to develop and master. We have put together some tips and fun activities to get you started on this process.

How to teach the alphabet to your child?

How to Teach the Alphabet to Preschoolers: Five Fun Activities for Teaching Alphabet to Children

Start with the Child’s own Name

Teach Your Child The AlphabetYour child is most likely interested in learning his own name more than anything else. Start by helping your child to recognize the letters in his name. Spell out your child’s name with a pen or a marker on a piece of paper. Try to focus on the first letter of his name first. The first letter in a child’s name is always the first alphabet a child learns. Pointing at the first letter in his name with your finger, ask the question, “What’s the first letter in your name?” Then you say something like this “A is for Alexander” or “S is for Sarah”.

Let’s Play Letter Games

There are many games you can use to help your child with letter recognition. Use washable Fingerpaints and ask your child to draw the letters he has learned in uppercase and lowercase on a drawing board. Another game is to ask your child to use Fingerpaints and draw things that start with a particular letter. For instance with letter “B”, he can draw a Ball, a Box and a Bird. Use one drawing board per letter. This way you can save your child’s artwork and come back to it after a few days for more letter practice.

Use Alphabet Puzzles

Use Alphabet Puzzles to teach your child the alphabetsAlphabet Puzzles are excellent tools for teaching ABCs to preschoolers. You might want to start with an alphabet puzzle after your child has learned at least a hand full of letters. This way he can use the alphabet puzzle as a learning toy to expand his letter recognition skill and have some fun playing at the same time. Alphabet puzzles are important learning tools as they make children see all the alphabets next to each other in a big picture and help them understand the alphabetical order and the letter sequence.

Letter of the Day Magazine Game

Select a letter for the day and write the letter in big size uppercase format in a large sheet of paper. Ask your child to search through pages of a magazine or newspaper and cut out all the words that start with that letter. Ask your child to focus on two or three sheets. After he gathers all the cut-out pieces, read the words together aloud. This last exercise helps your child to become familiar with how a particular letter sounds in different words.

Read Alphabet Books Together

Buy alphabet books that have a lot of pictures in them. Alphabet books are available in a variety of themes and topics such as colors, animals, farms, foods, and the list continues. Pick your first subject based on your child’s interest. Read the book aloud with your child. Be patient and spend as much time as necessary to help your child get familiar with each letter.

 

 

How to Encourage Good Behavior in Children

how to encourage good behavior in childrenOne of the important responsibilities of every parent is to encourage good behavior in their children. This is not always easy. Parents find themselves in difficult and sometimes conflicting situations when they need to confront or advocate the kids. There are a few simple and stress-free ways you can use to make children behave positively. Follow these strategies that can help you to encourage good behavior in your children.

ONE | Let Them Know When They are Good

One effective way to encourage good behavior in your child is to praise him for the good act. If you see your child doing something positive, take a note of that and make sure he understands that you like his performance. If your child organizes his room neatly, let him know you like what he’s done and encourage him by saying something like “wow, you organized your room so nicely.”

TWO | Listen and Acknowledge

There is nothing more important to a child than to make sure he is acknowledged and listened to by his parents. Even if your child’s request is unacceptable, spend some time to engage him in a friendly conversation. Get down to your child’s level. Make eye contacts with him. Speak in a calm voice. Ask why he feels a certain way and explain to him why you think this is not the right way. Your child need to feel that he is important to you and his voice is listened, even though his request is not accepted.

THREE | Talk about Consequences

Talk to your child about the results and consequences of his actions. Help him to understand what happens if he follows a certain bad behavior or why he needs to behave in a certain way. For instance, let your child know if he drops the bowl of rice, then he is responsible for the aftermath cleanup. If he fights with little Johnny, then he will lose the afternoon TV time, and so on.

FOUR | Be a Role Model

how to encourage good behavior in childrenIf you are a parent, you need to know that you are your child’s first role model. Children learn from their parents. Every action you take and every word that you say is observed and recorded by your child. So if you want to encourage a good behavior in your child, make sure that you always follow that same behavior. For instance, if you want your child to say “please” when he or she needs something, make sure you use “please” when you need to ask for something too. Yes, it’s that simple!

FIVE | Be a Reliable Parent who Keeps Promises

Your child needs to trust you as a parent. If you promise him something, make sure you fulfill that promise. It is important to establish a trust relationship with your child. If you promise to take your son some place or buy him something make sure you fulfill the promise. This strengthens your position as an authority and as a parent in the family. Your child knows that he can depend on you in any situation.

 

Related Articles:

The Good Parenting Skills You Must Develop from the Start

 

How to Motivate Kids to Learn

How to motivate kids to learnYou know your child is a smart kid and you know he will learn if he decides to focus on a subject but he lacks interest in studying and doing any schoolwork. This is a common dilemma for a lot of parents: how to motivate kids to learn? The truth is children are naturally curious and they like to explore and discover. Your role as a parent should be to direct your child’s curiosity and interest towards something that’s accomplishable and useful to him. Below are some great ideas that can help you to motivate kids to learn and do well in school.

Discover and Encourage

The first step towards motivating your child is to learn what he likes and what he enjoys doing. Get to know your child’s interests. Ask him what he likes to do and what activities he is more interested in. Does he like sports, science, community activities or politics?
Once you know what activities your child most enjoys doing, use them to motivate him to study and finish his school work. If you see improvements and your child actually gets involved in studying and learning, then reward him with the activities that he enjoys. If he is not persistent in focusing on the school work, then withhold those activities until he completes the school work.

Use Learning Toys

use Learning Toys to motivate kids to learnKids always enjoy fun activities that involve playing. Kids also like toys which are their main tools for playing and having fun. Learning toys are excellent motivators that can help your child become interested in learning as part of the play process. The goal is to help your child take the first step towards learning a new subject.

If your child does not show interest in science, try to introduce him to science toys. If he lacks interest in math, use math, number and counting toys to get him involved in a math-learning play activity. If he struggles with writing, then try writing and spelling toys to get him interested in learning words while playing games. Learning toys can help you to show your child how fun learning could be.

Focus on Strengths and Celebrate Achievements

Never scold your child for things that he doesn’t know. Instead try to focus on what he has learned and give him encouragement to work on areas that needs improvement. When your child gets a good grade or accomplishes a milestone, give him praise and celebrate the occasion. The best way to motivate kids to learn is through positive parenting. Nagging and threatening will never motivate kids to learn. As a parent you need to help your child learn how to grow and improve his work, step by step and in his own pace.

 

How to Teach Your Child to Read in Five Easy Steps

Teaching your child to read is a process that takes both time and practice. As a parent, you have the power to motivate your child to read and to help them grow into adults who will read easily and frequently. Learn To Play Toys knows how important reading is for children to develop necessary language and literacy skills. As a general rule, your goal should be to get your children to love books so they can start to read books. Here we present our best practices on how to teach your child to read in five easy steps.

ONE | Read to Your Child RegularlyHow to teach your child to read in five easy steps.

The number one rule for getting children interested in reading is to read to them on a regular basis. Find books that your children love, and start reading to them aloud on a daily basis. You can start this routine as early as your child turns one year old and continue this through the elementary school years.

TWO | Make Good Books Available to Your Child

Your child won’t be able to read, if books are not available to them. Do some research on the internet and find some good books with rich family and educational values. You can also ask your child about what books he or she is most interested in and do some book shopping together.

THREE | Be a Good Reading Role ModelHow to teach your child to read.

Teaching your child to read is much easier, when he or she sees you read on a regular basis. If you’re not a big fan of reading books, it’s now time to make some changes in your reading lifestyle. Your child will follow your footsteps and you need to be a good example for them. Make sure you spend some time each week to read books. Show your child that reading is important to you.

FOUR | Identify Letters and Words in Your Environment

Next time you go on a road trip with children in the car, try to encourage them to read the signs they see on the streets. Letters and words are almost everywhere. Street names, traffic signs and store names all have something for your child to read.

FIVE | Have Your Child Memorize Rhymes

Teaching your child to read can be fun and musical at the same time. Sing nursery rhymes to your children and have them memorize and recite the songs back to you. Nursery rhymes help your child develop letter recognition and become familiar with vowels and sounds.

Toys that Teach Math, Numbers and Counting to Young Children

Learning about numbers is an important educational skill taught to children in preschool and kindergarten classrooms. Math learning starts with counting and number recognition. One of the excellent tools available to parents and educators for building a foundation for more complex math concepts are toys that teach math, numbers and counting to children. These toys can be used both at home for basic math practice and homeschooling or in schools as part of the early childhood curriculum. Early exposure to mathematical concepts help young children develop necessary skills required for practicing more advanced concepts. Here Learn To Play Toys introduces five toys from our collection of toys that teach math, numbers and counting to help you introduce basic math and counting skills to your young children or students.

Math Skills Number Puzzle
Math Skills Number Puzzle

Math Skills Number Puzzle is a complete learning center that teaches math, numbers and counting to young children.

  • Kids can use this educational toy as a math puzzle to learn number recognition and counting sequence.
  • The math function signs teach simple addition and subtraction functions.
  • Kids can use the accompanying traceable chalkboard to learn how to write numbers.
  • Recommended Age: 4 to 7 years

 

Abacus
Abacus - Toys that Teach Math

Abacus is a classic learning toy for teaching counting and basic math functions to children through visual observation and moving of physical objects.

  • Kids can practice counting by sliding the colorful beads.
  • Kids can learn basic math functions including addition, subtraction and multiplication.
  • Abacus is also a great tool for teaching color recognition to toddlers.
  • Recommended Age: 3 years and up.

 

 

 

Traceable Numbers
Traceable Numbers - Math Puzzle

Traceable Numbers is a giant number puzzle that teaches numbers and counting to children. This is another classing counting toy for younger children to learn basic number identification without involvement of math functions.

  • Kids learn the shape of the numbers from 0 to 9.
  • Kids learn how to count in sequence.
  • Brightly colored pieces help kids develop color recognition skills.
  • Recommended Age: 3 to 6 years

 

Counting Ball
Counting Ball - Math Toy

Counting Ball is a dynamic learning toy that encourages learning subtraction and addition through the use of five colored counting balls. This basic math toy provides hours of exciting learning experience for children.

  • Kids learn how to work out simple addition and subtraction with numbers from 1 to 5.
  • Kids are able to gain visual understanding of addition and subtraction math functions.
  • Recommended Age: 1.5 years and up

 

 

Tumble Down Counting Toy
Tumble Down Counting Toy

With Tumble Down Counting Toy, your toddler learns number and counting skills in an active and engaging way. The accompanying pegs help kids understand the concrete meaning behind each number.

  • Kids learn to how to repeat numbers from 0 to 10 in sequence.
  • Kids gain a visual recognition of quantities associated with numerical symbols.
  • Recommended Age: 2 to 4 years