Children are natural learners. Their developing minds have a voracious appetite for both structure and adventure. Every moment at this stage of life may be characterized by an eagerness to take in new sights and sounds, textures, flavors, and smells. The toys of today are specifically designed to appeal to many of those senses, whether it be through bright colors, musical features, plushie stuffed toys, creative candies (such as ring pops with fake candy gemstones, or whistle pops), or scratch-and-sniff children’s books. One can argue that all toys are learning toys— or that anything, even if not designed to be a toy in the first place, can be a learning toy. What learning toys target, however, seems to be integrating a child’s learning capability with the general knowledge held by the people around them, their playmates, siblings, parents, guardians, and eventually their teachers. Crayons, preschool books, and certain numerated puzzle toys, can be particularly geared to teach children the things that we take for granted but are far more difficult to figure out by experience alone: writing, reading, and arithmetic.
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