Many of the educational toys we find in toy stores are aimed at preschool children and babies. While this is a perfect time to encourage our children to learn as they play, it doesn't need to stop once they reach school age, we can continue to provide them with good quality educational toys right up until their teenage years.
Books, especially those about animal, plant species, and geography are both educational and an interesting pastime for kids when the weather prevents them from playing outside. Alarmingly a recent report by the National Literacy Trust showed that “three in 10 children in the UK do not own a single book of their own”, something we do not expect to hear in 2011.
Reading with your children is a great opportunity to interact on their level, and teach them about the world they live in. Improving their language and spelling skills, books really are the ultimate educational tool and you can never have enough of them in your home.
On a recent search for educational toys for older children, I came across an intriguing collection by noted*. A selection of kits that you assemble at home, they go on to be fully functional objects. The Sharan Wide-35 Panoramic Pinhole Camera, for example, consists of pre-cut parts that assemble to create a working camera capable of taking panoramic photographs.
Easy to assemble pieces made of cardboard and plastic, slot together to create the brilliant camera, that uses a 35mm film and comes complete with its own plastic tripod.
Educational in more ways than one, this Pinhole Camera Kit would make the perfect educational gift for any teenager.
From the same noted* collection, My Ukulele – Assemble your own, is an excellent educational toy. A complete kit that requires simple tools to assemble, you end up with your very own Ukulele to play.
The body arrives in one piece, and with a little help from mum or dad, your child will be able to add the neck and strings to complete this great musical instrument.
A fun toy it will provide hours of entertainment, and if you are really lucky, they may just learn how to play it!