Tech Savvy: Why toys that teach still can be enjoyable

School shopping and all thing back to school has begun as yet another school year is set to begin, and with that comes the typical bonanza of buys such as backpacks, pencils, clothes and lunch boxes among other things as kid prepare to hit the books for yet another nine months.

Let the learning begin.

And as far as learning goes for kids, one of the age old questions centers on toys and education and just how much parents gravitate toward those types of toys, when the majority of moms and dads might be inclined to go the route of action figures, play sets, dolls or video games as more traditional toy buys.

But that doesn’t mean those technical toys, the ones that invigorate the brain and allow kids to learn and enjoy playing in the process should be cast aside as nothing more than parental trickery to get kids to learn even when they aren’t in school.

The truth is a few toys get major points in the eyes of both kids and parents who are content on combining the best of both worlds: playing and learning.

Take for instance the brand that is beloved by millions and has an offshoot that is even rooted in learning: Lego. The original and most recognized Lego are the ones that simply snap together as kids build anything from a simple Lego man to a house with a few extra additions added. Lego also has a brand called Technic, which is more dimensional Lego building for kids that adds functionality to building cars, vehicles and other motorized units that almost engaged the mechanical side of their learning, more so than the potent, yet one dimensional, Lego’s that we all know and still love.

As much as parents want to shower their younger kids with learning devices as well, you’d be hard pressed not to find even the youngest child enamored with computers or even smart phones to some degree at a very young age. That’s why handing a child an iPad to watch TV or movies on is fine, but what about something a little more engaging that just a video? The Leapfrog tablet is quite the device as kids can have the look and feel of an adult tablet, but rather littered with games and activities that go beyond watching a cartoon online via YouTube or some other medium of that ilk.

Toys will always be mostly associated with fun, and those toys labeled “educational” often get a bad wrap as not being that at all. Maybe it’s just of a matter of moms and dads looking at the right toys to have the best of both worlds.


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