A key building block of a pre-school child’s development is the recognition and understanding of the world around them. Although they may not be able to name them, kids learn from an early age that there are shapes everywhere. As they develop, they start to see patterns in the shapes and are eager to explore and learn more. We at what2buy4kids are passionate about toys that encourage learning and development from an early age, and we are delighted to have found Bigjigs’ wide range of maths toys. Educational toys like shape toys encourage kids (and their parents) to make learning through play fun and bring abstract concepts to life. Touching, feeling, and eventually sorting shapes helps babies to learn and explore. We can encourage the recognition of shapes by pointing out the shapes around us, repeating the names of the shapes and playing games to reinforce the understanding of how those shapes work.
We can reinforce learning through toys, and this is where Bigjigs comes in. When starting off with shape recognition and hands on learning through fun, start with standard blocks of all shapes and sizes. Bigjigs First Drum of Bricks is a perfect set to start with and babies can use them at first to touch, feel, and yes, taste. Then they’ll move on to stacking, sorting and building structures out of the blocks.
When your baby has grasped the concept of different shapes and how they fit together, it’s time to move on to a toy that encourages more hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills. You can’t go wrong with a shape sorter, and Bigjigs has loads on offer! They’re classic toddler toys and it’s easy to see why. We love the wooden ones because they’ll last forever and the adorable and varied designs are sure to delight. Kids learning to use a shape sorter will feel a sense of satisfaction and understanding that will give them their first taste of problem-solving and pride at a job well done.
There are so many styles and themes when it comes to shape sorters, and we are sure that you’ll be able to find one that will appeal to any child. Is your child into anything with wheels, anything that stacks or animals? From peg puzzles to animal sorters, they have so many games and toys to choose from. The Farm House Sorter is one of my favourites. This toy not only encourages the hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills we focused on earlier, but it can be a tool for making stories and playing imaginative games. This is a toy that will grow with your child, it can create a pretend world full of exciting possibilities.
On the subject of toys that grow with your child, there are lots of shape games for older children. For more advanced concepts in space recognition and to encourage a higher ability of dexterity and concentration, check out Pin-a-Shape boards where wooden shapes can be pinned to a board to create a display of their own creation. Or consider a Mosaic Tray where a flat tray can be transformed into a display of many pieces fitting together and creating an appealing pattern. These toys can be played with over and over and the creations will be different every time.
When you start exploring, you’ll see that there is a whole world of fun toys to teach kids about shapes. Blocks, shape sorters and shape boards are literally building the foundation for learning through fun, one block (or shape!) at a time!
Lisa is the managing director of what2buy4kids. Lisa’s wish is to make your job of finding a gift for the children in your life easier, or help you to take some of the time and frustration out of the search for that special gift for kids