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Smart Toys for Smarter Kids

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Smart toys – or toys in general – are a huge part of any kid’s childhood. And more than the fun, playing provides a myriad of benefits – from cognitive and behavioral development to logical thinking enhancement to social skills improvement. So as parents or guardians, your role is to guide and assist them as they explore and discover and not to prevent them from playing and enjoying their early years.

A good thing about going deeper into this digital era is that even toys for toddlers or games for kids have been constantly evolving. This means that through technology integration and infusion, more safety nets and valuable outputs can be seen or expected on modern toys.

The Power of Play: The Positive Effects of Toys and Games on Your Kids

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Curiosity is an innate attitude among kids as they are still in the early life stages where they are craving to learn about everything they see around them. They are naturally keen observers and they tend to imitate whatever they see. And with their limitless energy, they won’t mind diving into new adventures and trying different stuff merely out of curiosity or just for the sake of experience.

While sometimes it looks pointless or unnecessary, especially from an adult’s perspective, playing isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, experts and professionals encourage playing due to its various positive effects on a kid’s development. Here are some of those.

  • Builds Physical Fitness

Toys that encourage physical activities or interactions are encouraged especially since children, in general, are wired to be active. Physical play can help improve motor skills, sharpen reflexes, build strong muscles, boosts immunity, and more.

  • Promotes Independence

For obvious reasons, parents/guardians are on top of kids’ day-to-day activities – from meal times to bath schedules to sleeping patterns. By allowing them to play on their own terms (of course, still with proper guidance), they feel trusted and they are more likely to become independent and responsible individuals.

  • Fosters Creativity

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Even experts believe that every child is special and that every kid is born a genius. So don’t suppress their creative minds. Let them play with their imaginations and trust their own judgments. And we all know the importance of creativity and innovation in adulthood – whether we want to become professionals or entrepreneurs. 

  • Strengthens Mental Health

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Playing – especially unstructured ones – could be vital to one’s (healthy) brain development. It helps build the kid’s prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain responsible for learning and problem-solving.

  • Develops Individuality

A person’s character starts to develop as early as toddlerhood. A child’s traits and behaviors manifest and could be fostered or corrected during playtime. Let them explore their own emotions and discover their preferences.

  • Improves Social Skills

By playing with other kids, immersive games, or interactive toys, your kids could enhance the way they communicate with other people. They get to make friends and learn how to better get along with them. And with proper guidance, you can start them young and teach them about maintaining good and healthy relationships.

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Toys Market Going Digital: 5 Factors Parents Must Consider When Buying Tech Toys for Kids

Thanks to various tech innovations, there’s now a wide array of tech-based or tech-advanced toys for smart kids. Aside from digitalization and automation, modern toys are also equipped with better security and more educational features

It doesn’t mean, however, that you can mindlessly buy whatever newly released techy toy in the market. Of course, not everything serves your purpose or caters to your preferences. Plus, your child’s comfort, satisfaction, and safety should always be your priority. And to achieve just that, here are some key factors you might want to consider when buying smart toys.

  • Is There a Purpose?

First, check out what the toy does. Will it help your child master colors? Master your language? Acquire a new skill? It’s always advisable to opt for educational toys.

  • Is It Kid-Appropriate?

You should also thoroughly inspect the design – from the tiniest details to the overall aesthetics. Does it not imply malice? Suggest violence? Encourage profanity?

  • Is It Child Proof?

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Next on your list should be the construction. Toys usually indicate the suggested age group due to the parts or materials used. Is it well-built? Is it sturdy? Is it safe?

  • Is It Reasonably Priced?

Smart toys don’t always have to be expensive. In the same way, cheaper ones won’t guarantee better deals. Always check, will it provide great value for your money?

  • Is It Enticing?

Then, of course, pay close attention to the overall look. All the aforementioned features won’t matter if your child would just ignore them. 

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Beneficial and Educational Toys: Best Smart Toys for Kids

The toy industry is a huge market and there’s a wide variety of brands and items to choose from. There are software toys for smart kids who love video games, there are kits for kids who like to build stuff, and there are RPGs for kids who are into simulation and real-life-like experiences. Regardless, there’s no denying how technology is affecting the toy industry landscape.

On top of the many kid safety wearables and kid-friendly modern tools, there are several smart toys parents or guardians can buy for their kids – toys that could help with their growth and development. Here are some of those.

  • Alphabet, Colors, Shapes, and Sounds

edwin-the-duck.jpgEdwin the Duck. This smart rubber duck comes with a companion app, enabling it to tell stories, play various sounds, and play nursery rhymes.

thinker-tinker-octobo.jpgThinker-Tinker Octobo. This smart octopus-shaped plush toy is integrated with a tablet wherein it can help kids with ABCs, spelling, sound, and more.

 VTech-Touch-And-Teach-Elephant.jpgVTech Touch And Teach Elephant. This smart toy book can play 150 different songs and melodies, 16 interactive pages of letters and shapes, and more.

 

  • Basic Coding 

LoCoMoGo.jpgLoCoMoGo. A smart toy train that teaches coding. It comes with an intuitive and user-friendly app where kids can design their connectivity cars themselves.

 Snap-Circuits-Teach-Tech-Mech-5.jpgSnap Circuits Teach Tech Mech 5. An entry-level coding robot for young engineers – kids aged 10+ who are interested in programming.

Sphero-SPRK.jpgSphero SPRK. A smart tech toy that can be controlled from any Bluetooth-enabled device. Kids can customize how the robot behaves.

 

  • Building and Construction

cubelets.jpgCubelets. These are robot blocks designed to help enhance kids’ logical thinking, building strategies, computational skills, and more.

Educational-Insights-Circuit-Explorer-Deluxe-Base-Station.webpEducational Insights Circuit Explorer Deluxe Base Station. This smart toy allows kids to design and build their own interplanetary headquarters.

Robobloq-Robot-Kit.jpgRobobloq Robot Kit. This is a 6-in-1 robot building kit that can be operated from the software app that comes with the smart toy package.

 

  • Language Learning

Bookr.jpgBOOKR. This is a digital library of animated educational games and books. It’s an English app that teaches language in a fun way.

LeapFrog-Learning-Friends-100-Words-Book.jpgLeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book. This is an interactive bilingual book that introduces English and Spanish words.

smallTalk.pngsmallTalk. This is a smart app full-packed with lullabies and songs from various languages with unique and innovative teaching techniques.

 

  • Problem Solving

Kide-Science.jpgKide Science. A smart app that teaches Science and other ready-made lessons, infusing entertainment into developing a kid’s problem-solving skills.

WowWee-Lumi-1.gifWowWee Lumi. A smart gaming drone that enhances strategic thinking as it forces kids to find ways to avoid and surpass obstacles.

 PlayShifu-Interactive-STEM-Toys.jpgPlayShifu Interactive STEM Toys. A tablet-based game of brain-teasing levels with story-based logic and educational content.

 

  • Socialization and Teamwork

Cognitoys-Dino.jpgCognitoys Dino. It’s a charming smart dinosaur that makes up for a great conversation partner for kids, helping them enhance social skills.

traffic-jams.pngTraffic Jams. It’s a virtual reality action game that kids can play with their friends, surviving monsters and disasters together.

vector-mini-robot.jpgVector. It’s a helpful and sensitive tech-advanced mini robot that can help kids with household chores and other errands, making them more responsible.

Conclusion

Like in any other field and industry, smart toys and books are no exemption from technological innovations and advancements. Which, of course, is not a bad thing. However, as parents and guardians, be sure to always take precautionary measures. And as you introduce your kids to tech-infused modern toys, remember that there’s also no harm in letting them play with traditional toys or those that are homemade.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the hottest kid toys for the 2022 holidays?

As early as October, these toys are showing promising potential in terms of popularity, demand, and sales: American Girl Sapphire Splendor Doll, Bluey Ultimate Lights and Sounds Playhouse, Little Live Pets Mama Surprise, Squishmallows Mystery Box, and Star Wars LOLA Animatronic Droid.

What are the best toddler toys to introduce to my child?

With toddlers, it’s best to let them play with interactive toys or those that produce various sounds and with some sort of built-in lights. You can then gradually introduce them to simple puzzles, basic building blocks, and musical instruments.

Are tech-infused toys harmful to kids?

Most tech toys are programmed with safety nets and security protocols. But of course, like any other tech innovation, smart toys aren’t 100% flawless. Hence, parental guidance and precautionary measures are highly recommended.

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