The world may be made up of different cultures and traditions, but we all give something to our children as toys. Some are unique to a particular culture; some can be found almost anywhere. Whatever toys we give our kids, we have our number one reason to do this – to make them happy.
Let us visit some educational toys in Australia and around the world and what our children can learn from them:
- Matryoshka – this is the nesting dolls of Russia. This world famous doll is instantly recognizable as a Russian contribution to the world of toys. The majority of the doll’s theme is about family – the nested dolls inside forms a family when all are taken outside.
If you happen to have one, you can ask your child what they think of it. Ask them who they associate themselves with the dolls. If you have multiple matryoshkas, you may take all parts apart and ask your child to match it. Play matching could provide entertainment for hours.
- Puppets – it is said that Ancient Greece and Ancient India practiced puppetry, with India’s Tamil literature, mentioned this around 2nd century BC. Wow, that’s ancient!
Today, we can make sock puppets with our kids. We can help them create multiple characters – complete with button-eyes and water coloured-bodies. Playing with sock puppets can foster imagination during play activity.
As an alternate, you can create stick puppets together. Cut out a circle, draw the eyes, nose, and mouth and paste it on a popsicle stick or at the top any empty bottle. You can cut the “dress” of the body and let your child colour them and paste it to the stick or bottle. Instant craft project and hours of play.
- Kites – Ancient China were the first ones to create a kite. While the original intention of making the first kite is not for kid’s use, nowadays, we can see kites of different designs in parks and kite tournaments.
When I was still little, my friends would take a sheet of paper, fold it in the sides, and tie strings on each side and then run away – let our kites fly with us. I figured this is also a fun activity to do with my child, yours too. You can make the kite more personal by adding some design to the paper, let your kid’s imagination run wild. Then run around together, it will surely be fun.
- Snakes and Ladders – another toy that originated in India. This toy, as a worldwide classic, can be played by multiple players. So there’s no limit to the fun this toy can bring.
You can include the dog, the vacuum, anything as playmates. Add to the fun; you can teach your child to count while moving the tokens around.
- In Australia, with the diversity of insects and animals, you can take pictures of insects and animals on your phone and create an album of safe and unsafe animals. You can tell your kids which ones are safe to play with and to stay away from the dangerous ones.
Around the world, people are creating new toys for children and even for adults. Constantly improving in technological advances, toys are getting more and more sophisticated. While improvements are good to have, having fun and making memories together with your children are the better than techy gadgets and flashy new toys.