When it comes to developing your children’s maths skills, people tend to think of homework activities or counting games rather than traditionally playful toys. In reality, there are a whole range of maths toys available on the market that provide many benefits to children's development whilst still being fun and entertaining. In this blog, The Early Teacher will discuss the reasons why maths toys are good for cognitive development and much more.
So, what are the benefits of maths toys? Maths toys for kids provide a myriad of benefits to child development including problem solving and creative thinking when facing a challenge. What’s more, maths toys also help to develop fine motor skills, emotional management and attention to detail which are all key for cognitive growth.
Keep reading to find out more about the benefits of maths toys including what type of maths toys are good for children ages 5 or above.
What Are the Benefits of Maths Toys?
It is easy to assume that toys are beneficial simply due to the entertainment they provide to your children whilst you are busy. However there are specific types of toys, such as maths toys, that hold a wider range of benefits. Take a look at the main benefits of maths toys and you might just change your opinion.
|Problem Solving Skills||Maths toys are a great tool for developing problem solving skills in children of any age. They provide children with a numerical problem and an element of fun which stimulates their motivation to solve the problem. Whether it be to win the game, complete the sums, or complete a structure, when maths is merged with entertainment, it naturally becomes more appealing to children. Developing problem solving skills through the use of maths toys is a great developmental step for children, and will support them with STEM skills when they begin going to school.|
|Creative Thinking||Another benefit of playing with maths toys is that it can encourage your children to develop creative thinking skills. For example, the Crocodile Hop™involves children having to use their maths knowledge and creative thinking to determine how they can hop across the mat. Developing creative thinking through the use of a maths toy is a brilliant step for children because it allows them to think on a deeper level. This skill can be transferred to many other aspects of their life as they grow up.|
|Attention to Detail||Maths toys for kids are also beneficial because they can enhance children’s ability to concentrate or pay attention to small details. Typically, maths toys involve some use of numbers which generally requires focus to calculate or understand. Without being exposed to maths toys, children would not be given the opportunity to focus on a numerical problem such as this, and would therefore not develop the ability to concentrate on minor details. Attention to detail is a skill that can be transferred to an array of scenarios as children grow up such as completing homework, counting pocket money, and even playing imaginary supermarkets with friends.|
|Fine Motor Skills||Surprisingly, maths toys tend to involve a fair amount of fine motor skills. Ranging from stacking blocks, to moving counters and in some cases playing with foam, maths toys can involve a lot of hands-on playtimes. This is another benefit of introducing maths toys to your children, because they encourage the development of fine motor skills at a young age which can be transferred to important life stages. For example, by developing fine motor skills at a young age your child may find the important step of learning to hold a pencil a little easier.|
|Emotional Management||Maths toys are also a great way to develop your child’s emotional management skills. When it comes to playing with maths toys, it can be challenging for children at first, especially because they are still learning and enhancing their maths knowledge. In some cases, children may find that they get frustrated because they are struggling to work out the maths problem. Whilst this is a completely understandable emotion, it is also a great lesson because it teaches children that not everything is an easy task, as well as how to overcome frustration or a negative emotion. This is significant because managing emotions is a skill that we use in every stage of our life, therefore developing it at such a young age is only going to give them a head start.|
Are Maths Toys Good For Cognitive Development?
Cognitive development is a skill that is so important to how a child develops because it relates to how they think and approach certain tasks to overcome them. Whilst there are an array of toys on the market that are brilliant for encouraging cognitive development, maths toys tend to take cognitive development to the next level. Typically a toy that helps to improve cognitive development would involve some form of challenge such as the IQ Puzzler Pro XXL. However, when you consider the added challenge of maths related subjects, it can elevate the intensity of cognitive development.
This can be particularly helpful when your child has already been exposed to some critical thinking or problem solving through the use of some educational toys, but have outgrown the difficulty of them now. Adding in the extra challenge of maths can stimulate their brains and provide them with a challenge that is not only more fun but more educational for them. This is significant because cognitive development is imperative at any stage of your child’s development into a well-rounded young adult.
To learn more about the importance of cognitive development, check out the helpful video below.
What Maths Toys Are Good For Children Aged 5 or Above?
Now that we have explained why maths toys are great for helping your child to develop, you may be considering purchasing some. However, it can be quite overwhelming to determine which ones are appropriate, yet challenging enough, to stimulate their STEM skills. To help you out, we have detailed some maths toys for kids in relation to age so that you can get a rough idea.
Maths Toys for 5 Year Olds:
For children aged around 5 years old, you need to remember that they are still at the very early stages of learning any form of maths skills, therefore it is important to not overwhelm them with anything too complex. For example, The Geometry Creator - Storybook is a great tool for introducing maths skills to your child’s playtime for the first time alongside The Shape Factory Board Game. Through the use of the familiar storybook, children are encouraged to simply identify different shapes as the story develops. For this type of maths toy, parent interaction is a vital part of the process because children’s knowledge tends to be quite limited.
Maths Toys for Children 5 or Above:
Once you find that your children are beginning to understand the basic concepts of maths such as shapes, naming numbers and potentially adding up, you may wish to start introducing maths toys that are a little more complex. For instance, the 30 Cubed maths toy is a helpful yet fun toy for children ages 5 or above that need an extra challenge with regards to their maths skills. With different levels of difficulty that meet your child’s needs, this maths toy helps to stimulate your children’s problem solving skills and logical thinking.
Maths Toys for Children 8 or Above:
As your child gets a little bit older, it is easy to assume that they are getting all the maths practice they need within their school lessons but in truth, encouraging it at home is only going to help them more. The Genius Star, is a mathematics related toy that involves using the 11 coloured shapes and position 7 blockers around them to create the full Genius Star. With multiple playing pieces, strategic elements and risk taking, this maths toy keeps your older children entertained and stimulated without them even knowing it.
Maths Toys for Kids at The Early Teacher:
The Early Teacher offers a variety of Maths Toys that are designed to develop your children’s maths skills a little bit further outside of the classroom. Our range of maths toys have been safety tested and chosen with your child’s development in mind.
For more information on our selection of maths toys, get in touch today.