Being a mom of three years old, Hitarth, I know the challenges of keeping a toddler busy for a long. After understanding and knowing more and more about motherhood and parenting for 3 years, I am here to share some tips to keep your kids busy for a long time and some engaging yet educational toys to buy at budget-friendly rates that encourage learning through play.
Firstly, I would like to tell you that I have always been a fan of educational toys. You may feel it is weird, but whenever I gift someone, I prefer toys which are useful and which help the kids learn something. I strongly believe in ”learning while playing.” Even I dont know when & why I became like this and why am I always inclined towards such toys. Sometimes, my husband cribs about it a lot. But you know! Lol!
List of Educational & Engaging Toys
So, here is the list of some toys that Hitarth loves to play with. And frankly, he learnt much from these. At the age of three, he knows as many as 15 countries and can easily recognize their flags. It may not be a big deal for some, but I feel proud as a parent. It may be because I am, rather was, zero in Geography. HAHA! So, the first educational and engaging toy is;
Wooden World Map
Trust me; you won’t regret buying this. It is so engaging that you, yourself, will love spending time with your kids and will know about the world more (if not already known). It comes with a wooden frame with a world map & countries printed over it with 36 flags. Kids will learn to recognize the country flags and know their correct place over the map. Hitarth enjoys playing this alot, and atleast 4 to 5 times a day, he would play this. You can see for yourself here.
LCD Digital Slate
It is one of my favourites. I have even gifted this to many kids. Kids, not only toddlers but kids of age 5 to 7, will also love this. It is ideal for encouraging children to write. Useful for doodling, sketching, planning, taking notes, and a tonne of fun for children! It has a delete button, so kids would just write, doodle, delete and repeat. They would spend hours doodling on this.
Seek & Find Books
These books are beautifully illustrated for toddlers to seek, find & learn various things. I have many of these books, from animals to household things to vehicles. Hitarth learnt the names of all the construction vehicles from this book and now easily recognizes all of them while we are out and on the road. These books help build their vocabulary. Large labels at the top of each page help the child locate the objects more quickly. It’s fun as well as an amazing book to learn through play.
Wooden Learning Calendar
This wooden board creatively teaches kids about the seasons, months, days of the week, weather, and time. Although I had used other tricks to make him learn months and weekdays (which I will share below), this board helped him recall all of those again. Kids can easily spend 15 minutes on this board playing alone. He is yet to learn the timings & the clock but will get to it soon. It’s a must-buy.
I believe flashcards are one of the best things to buy for your kids. We started showing him flashcards when he was 10 months old. He learnt all the alphabet, animals, numbers, and much more from those flash cards. He would spend most of his time learning through these cards. These cards are colourful and so attractive for kids that they will learn easily. You can buy any from animal cards to birds to flags to anything you want.
Shape Sorting Wooden Block
An amazing toy to learn shapes and colours. Not many colours, though, but basic shapes, they will learn in no time. It helps build their motor skills as they will use their fingers and increase their focus in putting the correct shape in the given area. It would be a great addition to any preschooler’s toy collection. Here are some gifts For New Mom to Make Her Parenting Easier & More Comfortable.
Not to mention, but books are always best friends. There are many books which kids would love to spend their time on. Some of the books are; My first 500 words, My First Library Board books, mythological books, touch and feel books, story books, etc. You can check the link below, and whichever interests you, you can buy it and see if your kid uses it & love it.
Pro Tips & Things I Did to Make Him Learn
I wouldn’t say Hitarth doesn’t have other toys except for educational ones. He has many, especially; all of the construction vehicle toys. He is so fond of these that he would buy atleast one vehicle whenever we go shopping. Apart from this, he loves cooking and doing kitchen chores, especially doing the dishes. So, you see, we do let him play with his vehicles and other toys, which are not educational ones but are fun to play with. Now, let’s know some tips that I tried to make him learn more.
- Whenever I do Yoga & Exercise, I count the breath, poses & steps I take; sometimes, I say the alphabets, this way, he learnt the counting & the alphabet.
- I always engage him in cooking & other household chores. He can easily peel the cucumber, flip the chapati from Tawa, prepare tea, and much more at age 3. Don’t worry about the risks because I know you will supervise and set the limit as I do.
- I used paper tape and pasted it on the floor in different shapes; this way, he learnt the shapes very easily and could repeat them daily. Atleast for 2 months, I kept it pasted on the floor.
- Whenever he is in the kitchen with me, I keep saying two-letter words like IT, IN, NO, ON, etc., and ask him the next day.
- I bought a big planets chart to make him learn the solar system. I am yet to buy India & the World Map so I could paste it on any wall and make him learn all.
- While preparing the meals, I ask him to give the vegetables from the refrigerator; this way, he is building his vocabulary and learning the sizes and shapes. Yesterday only, I asked him to give me a small tomato; he took two tomatoes from the fridge and started checking their size, saying, ”this is medium, and this is small.” And then handed over the smaller one to me and said, ”here you go, Mumma, it’s a small tomato.”
With all these toys and tricks, I am trying my best to keep him away from the gadgets. And touch wood, with all of this, I am easily able to spend some alone time while encouraging Independent play.
Some of you may think I am a bad mother and I am only emphasizing more on these educational things without knowing if my son would love to do it or not, but I know my son, and I dont think a 3-year-old cannot learn all of this because they can and much more easier than us adults. I believe in the Early learning concept strongly. So, here I am, trying my best with all his interest and desire to learn.
Lastly, I will keep adding more tips and toys as soon as I remember more. Till then, try these and let me know how you and your kids find them.