Anything that allows kids to explore, play out scenarios, imagine things, build things is educational. For me the rule of thumb in getting toys is - something that allows my child to actively participate in play. Not sit back and watch.
Depending on the age anything that challenges the gross motor, motor skills, building skills, basic foundation skills such as sorting, numbering, categorizing is great. These basic building blocks help the child as he grows older.
The things that kids learn through toys include cause and effect, finger strength, dexterity, socializing, sharing , problem solving. Toys improve their imagination and help them identify great role models. Toys helps kids identify and enact healthy inter personal relationships. Negotiation and conflict resolution are also some of things that toys teach.
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