I know. I know. We are all coming straight out of Christmas and toys are probably flooding your house. In fact, our house sounds like an arcade (Remember those?)! All of these gadgets and gizmos are definitely keeping our kiddos busy, but as a teacher, toys have to do more than entertain. It's very important that my girls engage in the type of play that enhances their development socially and academically.
Perhaps one of the best ways children can learn is through dramatic play.Dramatic play is "an imitative activity in which a child fantasizes and acts out various domestic and social roles and situations, such as rocking a doll, pretending to be a doctor or nurse, or teaching school." I fondly remember engaging in dramatic play all the time, especially whenever I was hanging out with my grandmother. My grandmother would give me old phone bills, a calculator, a purse and pen to tote along while we were running errands.
Nowadays, there are countless fun learning toys out there for kids to use while engaging in dramatic play. I have found 5 super fun toys that my girls absolutely love! They are learning so much while having fun at the same time. That's a win-win for sure!
- Touch and Swipe Baby Phone. This smartphone has a great way of capturing a child's imagination for role-play fun, not to mention it keeps my girls from wanting to play with mine! My 2 year old loves pretending to call family members, friends and even her stuffed animals. Even my 7 month old is learning gross motor skills with this phone, bringing it up to her ears like big people! The "Home" button feature allows you to record and save your home number on the toy! There's also a calendar, clock and weather apps to teach your baby about the day with the touch screen and slider--builds hand/eye coordination. If that's not enough kids get to discover and explore with fun sounds and sing-along songs, introducing ABCs, 123s and first words. Love it!
- Rhyme and Discover Book. Your little one can pretend to read while learning with this adorable book! It's filled with nursery rhyme favorites that play fun melodies, sounds and phrases. Magical light-up characters encourage your child to interact with the book. My 7 month old enjoys turning the pages to discover which songs and sounds she will hear next. Her big sister loves pretending to read the book as well.
- KidiBeats Drum Set. This is perhaps my personal favorite because my husband was a drummer. Our 2 year old would have a blast playing the drums with Daddy's drum sticks practice pad, so it was no surprise at all that she put this toy on her Christmas wish list. Santa came through and she is enjoying her own drum set and gets to play right beside Daddy! She performs like a rock star while tapping the three light-up drum pads and cymbal. She gets to hear each of their unique sounds for sensory development. She also gets to rock out to built-in melodies in a variety of styles including rock, dance, pop or in your own style to encourage musical creativity. There are four play modes including Free Play, Letters, Numbers and Follow Along.Sometimes she prefers to pretend to play along with Mommy's music, turning the drum sounds off. So cool!
I definitely encourage you to check out these super fun learning toys for your kids. What fun learning toys did your child get for Christmas that you would recommend? Let me know. I would love to check them out!