The world of a toddler is one of endless discovery. While they may not understand what they are learning at the time, each opportunity to play develops crucial fine motor and cognitive skills. Toddlers learn best through hands-on experiences, which can mean technology isn’t always the best way to promote learning. Luckily, some toy developers have gotten the memo and implemented smart technology into physical toys. Smart toys can typically connect through WiFi or Bluetooth to a mobile device. Through the integration of technology and tactile experiences, smart toys are able to promote and support learning through various stages of development. This technology allows parents to track the progression of important skills such as shape, number, and letter recognition.
There is no better gift than the gift of knowledge, which means a smart toy could make the perfect gift for the toddler in your life. These toys have the ability to promote learning while providing toddlers with fun, imaginative playtime; an unbeatable combination. If you’re looking for smart toys to provide your toddler with fun playtime and ensure they reach important learning milestones along the way, here are five toys to help get them there:
Edwin The Duck
Edwin the duck is much more than the average rubber ducky. This smart toy connects to mobile devices through Bluetooth to create an interactive learning experience for toddlers. When the duck moves in your toddler’s hands, he also moves on the screen, allowing them to physically manipulate the animated world rather than touching the screen. The Edwin The Duck App includes countless interactive stories and songs that can promote hand-eye coordination and shape recognition in a fun way. Edwin can also be your toddler’s new bath and bedtime buddy with his built in night light, sleep sounds, built-in water thermometer, and waterproof Bluetooth speakers.
Tiggly Shapes brings shapes to life by integrating physical toy shapes and tablet technology. The Tiggly Shape Set includes a circle, square, triangle, and star toy that interact in real-time with tablet-enabled learning apps. Parents can watch as toddlers match the shapes in their hands to fun shapes on the screen. This simple playset promotes fine motor skills and shape recognition through the integration of digital technology and hands-on learning. Time Magazine even named Tiggly Shapes one of the “toys that will make your kids smarter.”
Square Panda Phonics Playset
Square Panda turns a tablet into a phonics play station with tactile smart letters. A game that begins as simple letter recognition can progress through 14 levels of phonetic learning. The more your child plays with Square Panda, the more it becomes customized for them. The diagnostic engine measure’s progress, preferences and patterns of play cater the games to each individual child. As your child has fun playing games, they learn important letter recognition and reading skills that prepare them for preschool.
Bright Beats Dance & Move Beat Belle
This dancing and singing robot introduces toddlers to letters, colors, numbers, and music. Pushing her belly or buttons on her feet will activate catchy songs, dance moves, and learning opportunities for your toddler. Belle has three different modes that grow with your baby: Dance & Move, Learning & Games, and Sing Along. Parents can even record a phrase and Belle will turn it into a fun song, which means the learning opportunities are endless with this tiny robot.
Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Chair
This smart chair is more than a cool looking chair for your toddler to call their own. When your toddler sits down in the chair, the toy activates and begins playing songs. There’s a play remote on the armrest that allows them to choose between listening to songs about shapes or numbers and more. The seat cushion flips up to reveal even more opportunities for learning and play. This chair comes with Smart Stages technology that allows you to alter the content that is played based on your toddler’s development. The first stage is all about exploring and exposes toddlers to sounds and words. The second stage is about encouragement and guides toddlers through simple directions and questions to promote learning. The third stage is about encouraging imaginative fun through make-believe play.
Kali Muir is an ambitious freelance writer with a BA in Communications. She was born in Canada but has since lived in Norway, Denmark, and England. Her work experience is as diverse as her past addresses, including roles in technical communication, corporate communication, marketing, and article writing. She has experience working in varied business sectors: Oil & Gas, Engineering & Technology, Clothing & Equipment Retail, and Creative Writing. Follow Kali’s professional and personal journey at www.kalimuir.com, or connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.