"I grew up in Cambridge in England, and my love of mathematics dates from those early childhood days." - Andrew Wiles.
There is no doubt that the fortunately blessed among us have had a lovely childhood where our minds were relaxed and we engaged in an array of childish play. Today however, the challenge that presents itself is to combine fun and education. I personally like to call it ‘fun-ducation’; not unlike the merging of two polar opposites such as broccoli and cheese, education and fun can also be harmoniously paired.
Children are incredibly fond and therefore evidently attached to their toys. In retrospect when adults look back at their childhood, most are not likely to remember the food they ate, the words they spoke or even the friends they made. No, most children remember the toys they had, and that is because as adults most of us keep our toys. Even if they become raggedy, old and unrecognizable we keep them for sentiment. We keep them because they remind us of a time that was inexplicably innocent, and yet came to pass too quickly.
In recent years many studies have brought to light the notion that a child’s interest in science should be established at an early age. And what better method to achieve this than giving your children toys that stimulate and nurture a child’s innate interest in the world around them; and henceforth science.
However, before our readers can be enlightened as to what toys are best suited and most fun for establishing a child’s early interest in science, it is of pivotal importance that adults and parents alike understand the countless benefits that can be gained from such a collaboration.
According to schoolatoz and various other educational institutions, the benefits of incorporating science from an early age into a child's life are substantial towards their socialization process. Let us observe some of the many benefits to be achieved from inculcating science into a child’s life via STEM related toys.
NUMBER 1 - CURIOSITY
Children are wired to be curious about the world and the surrounding environment they reside in. It is only through their creative and artful curiosity that a child learns, grows, and develops. And what better way is there than to nurture such thoughts, and ignite a child's interest in STEM areas of thought through toys.
NUMBER 2 - COMMUNICATION
NUMBER 3 - BUILD CHARACTER
NUMBER 4 - INTEREST IN STEM FIELDS
- Kids Backyard Bugs Kit this can be bought online but at the same time the scientific toy kit can easily be made at home. All you require is a net, an insect box (this can be any recycled plastic box) and a garden full of bugs! After the child captures a ladybird for instance you can easily search online “fun facts” about ladybirds or other insects and bugs then share them with your child. Learning about nature and science in the same go.
- Scientific/ Lab Barbie Doll take any of your child’s Barbie dolls and simply knit them a lab coat from any cloth such as a napkin and place it over the Barbie. You can then play traditional "Barbie doll games” with your children, but with a twist! As instead, the scientific Barbie doll works in a lab and explores the outdoors as well as making scientific observation’s using tiny microscopes.
- Fizzy Foam Scientific Kit if you cannot afford to buy this kit then a homemade version will do justice. All you need are transparent jars, bubbles which can easily be made from washing detergent and water, food colouring and fizz.
- 4M Doodling Robot this doodling robot is not only eye catching for the child but its vibration and spin generating motor creates wonderful works of art to stimulate the left cognition of your child’s brain and really nurture the imagination and creativity of your child’s mind.
- Grow – A- Maze as it frequently rains in Pakistan, our soil is fertile and seeds for planters can be found readily at any nursery. This fun toy kit can be home-made or bought and can be readily used to create an interest in science. Additionally, this is an activity that both boys and girls will enjoy.
The toy insider mom and I agree on the point that children growing up in the in the 21st century need to be especially equipped with knowledge and understanding of science, engineering, mathematics and technology based ideas. This is because that is the world that surrounds them and there is no better or more creatively fun way to achieve this than through “fun-ducation”, and the pathway to it is paved with science based toys. You may have to beg and plead with a child to do their homework but you will not have to ask them twice to play with their toys!
Here is a link to websites that can assist parents in buying toys for their children that generate an interest in science and it’s not too heavy on the wallet either:
Vivacious. And making waves.