Educational toys are often referred to as "smart toys". "Smart toys" have technology components that provide educational stimulation to your toddler and respond with music, audio, and flashing lights. Educational toys are designed to teach your toddler simple concepts from number and letter recognition to advanced grammar or mathematics. You'll find educational toys that use games, songs, stories, phonics, counting, and spelling activities to engage your toddler in the learning process.
Most educational toys are geared to toddlers aged 18 months and older. There are a few educational and interactive toys that are geared towards smaller babies. Simpler musical toys allow your baby to flip over blocks or press large buttons to activate songs. Mini-steering wheel toys display letters and numbers on a dashboard whenever your baby turns the wheel or honks the horn. There are a wide variety of push button toys that repeat the letter or number your baby pushes and then incorporate that letter or number into a word or sentence.
Combining gaming and learning to keep your toddler's attention, a lot of educational toys are similar to video game systems.. They use books and cartridges to communicate and interact with your toddler; a few systems use a screen similar to your computer monitor. The lights, music, voices, and other sounds make learning fun and almost undetectable.
Educational toys for toddlers and preschoolers usually have a touch-sensitive screen. Your toddler interacts with the toy using their fingers on the screen to locate and match pictures or identify letters. The toy then responds with music or audio to encourage your toddler to try again.
Some systems are equipped with an attached stylus that your toddler can use to interact with the system. The stylus can be used as an electronic book reader, a digital art studio, and an interactive video player. Touching the stylus to the screen or book can start or stop a sequence, identify objects, or write or draw on the screen.
Some educational toy systems have an attached microphone. Your toddler can talk or sing into the microphone to interact with the toy.
Most babies and toddlers love these interactive educational toys. The stylus systems are especially popular with children aged 4-8. Most have a variety of accompanying books and cartridges so you can vary the content to prevent your toddler from becoming bored. The interactivity and the positive reinforcement your toddler receives when a question is answered correctly or an object is properly matched increase your toddler's confidence. It also pushes them to move on to the next page and keeps them learning.