Educational Toys – How Do Parents Choose The Best Toys For Their Child

The choices are mind numbing. Walk into any toy store or the toy section of any department store and there are shelves and tiers of toys labeled ‘educational toys’. There are books, games, dolls and the list just goes on and on. It includes everything from an infant’s building blocks to Leapfrog interactive games. The sheer variety is overwhelming. How does a parent or a grandparent choose the best educational toys for the children in their lives? Will the child like it? Will it hold up under the abuse of play? Will it accomplish the purposes for which it was purchased? And finally, is it a good value for the money?

The first rule that parents and grandparents should keep in mind is to buy educational toys that are age appropriate. The temptation is nearly overwhelming to buy children, especially infants, toys that reflect the interests of the giver. For example, how many times have you seen fathers who were sports enthusiasts give a child a piece of sports equipment that was way beyond the youngster’s ability to use. Footballs, fishing rods and bows and arrows given to infants and toddlers are a complete waste of money. Parents, proudly convinced they are raising a child prodigy, create a frustrated youngster when they push the child into playing with toys outside the manufacturer’s suggested age range. Real safety hazards are presented when children are encouraged to play with toys beyond their ability to understand or handle safely.

The second rule of buying educational toys is to keep in touch with the child’s interests. Children grow and develop at rapid rates, both mentally and physically. Continually changing interests are a natural part of this development as the child explores new ideas and concepts. It is important for parents, and grandparents, to spend time playing with the child for a whole host of reasons. One of those reasons is that it helps the adult keep in touch with the child’s current interests. Play is how children learn and educational toys are tools of that play. It does little good to buy a small girl jigsaw puzzles and Teletubbies when what really interests her are word games and chemistry sets.

Educational Toys Should Serve A Purpose And Stimulate The Child

Choose educational toys that stimulate the child. How often have we purchased children a toy and watched them shove the toy aside and play with the box in which it was packaged? Educational toys are of two basic types. They are those that develop physical skills and those that develop cognitive skills. Legos, for example, are great educational toys for older pre-school and elementary school aged children. Legos invite children to become creative as they assemble these interlocking blocks into an unlimited myriad of shapes and designs. The activity of assembling the Legos also helps develop fine motor skills.

Beware toys that are so highly developed that the game does all of the play. Some video games fall into this category. The child does not have to think or even be especially adept or coordinated physically to play the game. These games may be an interesting diversion for the youngster, but they contribute very little to either the youngster’s creative or physical development.

When selecting educational toys, choose quality over quantity. We have discussed children’s continually evolving interests. Even so, we all too often overwhelm our children at gift-giving occasions such as birthdays, Christmas and Hanukkah. Youngsters go from toy to toy and cannot decide with which to play. If this only happens a couple of times a year the child will eventually sort them out and play with all of them. The problem is that many children are continually given new toys, not only at special occasions but also throughout the year.

Some children are given so many toys that they remain overwhelmed. They do not learn to appreciate the things that they are given. They can also develop a distorted sense of values. They begin to equate parental and grandparental love with the quantity of things they are given. Their expectations of what they will be given escalate into unrealistic levels. This is a disastrous characteristic if it is carried into adulthood.

Children overwhelmed by the number of toys they are given receive little benefit from the educational toys. They cannot concentrate on any one toy long enough to let their creativity blossom. Too many toys can be damaging to a youngster.

Parents and grandparents should also concentrate on toys with build-in quality. As we have already discussed, the toy should be designed to stimulate the child’s physical skills or creative abilities. The toy should also be safe and durable for the age group of children for which it was designed. The toy should be designed to hold up well under the abuse of play. It should not be constructed of potentially toxic materials such as lead-based paint. It should also be constructed in a manner where small pieces that can be swallowed will not readily be broken off and in a way that there are minimal risks of injury from sharp edges or corners.

While there are many small manufacturers of excellent toys, when in doubt choose toys made by top-rated companies with time tested brand names. Examples include Fisher Price, Disney games and Milton Bradley to name just a few.

Parents and grandparents can help their youngsters safely develop into happy, healthy and well-rounded young adults with some conscientious attention to the educational toys they choose. Just keep in mind the child’s level of development and current interest and choose toys that are appropriate for that age and interest. Make sure the toy will stimulate the child either physically or creatively. You want to stretch the child’s abilities, but not so much that the youngster becomes frustrated or so little that the child either becomes bored with the toy or lazy physically or mentally. Finally, if given the choice, select one or two quality toys rather than a room full of cheap toys.

A Guide To Online Career Education

Many colleges, schools, and universities impart high quality online education to students across the world, in a variety of career-oriented disciplines. Every year, thousands of aspiring students enroll in various online universities that are also called technical or vocational schools. Basically, an online career college is a private or public institution that offers a variety of certifications and degrees in career-specific fields online. A student can earn a certificate, a diploma, or a two or four-year degree depending on the type of career he or she is interested in.

Some career colleges offer education in a few fields, while there are others who provide education in hundreds of career-oriented subjects. Some of the most popular subjects and careers include accounting, business administration, cosmetology, hotel, and restaurant, nursing information technology, and fashion design. The course comprises of practical as well as subjective knowledge given by trained professionals or industry experts. Vocational courses basically help students who have completed their high school and are willing to work.

Many students are not aware that they can be eligible for scholarships even though these courses are conducted online. Unfortunately, many assume that these are only for top students attending prestigious, traditional universities. Normally, the financial aid process for students attending an online career college is similar to that of students attending a four-year college. Most career colleges participate in federal financial aid programs that provide students with federal grants and loans.

Professional training is the main purpose of a career college and its graduates are its best measure of success. Various sites can guide aspiring professionals and working adults. These sites help them locate online career education colleges or centers. They also provide information on minority institutions and minority postsecondary institutions, and tribal colleges and universities. However, students should enroll themselves in accredited institutions or colleges of online career education.

Students who have completed their high school or graduation can seek guidance from professional advisors at career education forums prior to enrolling in an online education program. Students are informed about the prevailing as well as the most favorable fields that can be pursued as a vocational course and has better job opportunities. The advisors or counselors first try to analyze their skills, area of interest, and basic knowledge by asking them a number of questions.

They are introduced to a variety of career options, and learn the level of skills and education required in fields such as culinary arts, dental assistant, heating, air conditioning and refrigeration, plumbing, hotel and restaurant management, and real estate. A counselor advises students to select the most suitable field of education that compliments their interest and aptitude. Students are also counseled on different academic programs that can help in funding their education. Working people may also pursue further online training, education, and certification for their career advancement. They can also inquire about proper information on training programs that help to upgrade their skills. There are many sites on career education that guide people to prepare themselves for favorable jobs.

Distance Learning Programs Causes of Popularity and Great Universities

Over the years teaching system has undergone great changes especially in the mode of teaching. Now, to get a good degree and quality education students don’t require attending classes. They can acquire their degrees and education from anywhere in the world. It is now easy for a foreign student earning a North American degree without visiting the country. How it possible? Distance learning programs do the tricks.

Technology, like all other fields, brings a revolution in education. Internet brings out education from the “case of bricks”, means joining traditional classes is not required for getting quality knowledge. Now quality degrees can be eared from home or coffee shop. In fact, distance education has emerged as a great way to advance one’s qualifications.

Why Do Distance Learning Programs Become Popular?

Study shows, over the previous years students of distance learning programs has increased at a rate of almost 20%. It clearly shows that distance learning is on the upswing. What is making it more and more popular? Undoubtedly, its advantages and benefits are. Here are they,

  • Going out for education requires a lot of expenses. Most of the students can not backup the money for their education. But with distance learning one can easily get degrees while stay at home which save him or her lots of money.
  • Flexibility in study, with an internet connection it is easy learning from anywhere.
  • Learning becomes easy for those who has to maintain busy work routine and can not make time to attend traditional classes.
  • No waste of time and money for transport and communication.
  • Self-paced learning, study at a personal speed and intensity.
  • Great opportunity for those with physical disability and unable to cope with the classroom based traditional learning.
  • Online resources come into use for study which enhance the world of students and enrich their knowledge.
  • Helps to be comfortable and stress free with learning.

What Are The Top Universities For Distance Learning Programs?
There are number of universities offering distance learning programs. Logically, quality of education of all of them is not same. A lot of fake universities and institutions are there so while choosing one you have to filter them. Checking the authority of the university is the first step of choosing one. Choose one that uses all of modern facilities to make learning easier for their students. Nonetheless, here are some of the great online distance learning universities,

  • University of Phoenix, one of the best online universities, offers degree programs at bachelor, master, and doctoral level, with a balanced combination of academic theory and practical application. It is fully accredited and ensures quality for its online education.
  • Argosy University, a private university, is well known for providing flexible but quality online degrees in business, education and psychology. Its online lectures are designed with great concern to the students’ practical knowledge. Students can get their online classes either during day or night. Above all, experienced instructors provide students individualized attention through online class session.
  • Capella University offers online degrees in information technology, business, psychology, public health and human services. Its online environment is organized into course-rooms that are built on the Blackboard Learning System software. It faculty is consists of professionals possessing years of teaching experience.

There are great institutions. While choosing one, take great care. Degree from a great online university can enlighten your career while a fake university degree can make your life a hell.