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Research Context:

Indoor Activity and Action Toys.

Educational activities

From birth to six months.

  • In the early months of a child's life he or she responds to colourful. Easy to hold playthings. Bright colours such as red and green work well and toys that make a noise when moved are suitable for this age range.
  • Toys for these very young babies may be such as rattles, mobiles, soft toys, musical toys, fabric books, activity mats and mirrors.

From 7 months to 12 months.

  • The second six months is where a child develops rapidly, they become more communicative, they learn to crawl and they explore every new item by placing it into their mouths.
  • Toys for these types of children are such things as soft dolls, drums, telephones, bucket and spades, shape sorters, books and stuffed animals.

From 12 months to 24 months of age.

  • At this age children become toddlers and become far more mobile. They begin to shout, laugh, point and generally become more able to express themselves. At this age they need more challenging toys which will extend them more physically and mentally.
  • Toys for these types of children are such things as balls, interactive toys and indoor activities, push along toys, riding toys, playhouses, tool kits, telephones, paints and puzzles.

When we evaluate a game or toy it is important to decide upon the skills that the children learn when playing with the game

We can place these skills into categories;

Eye to hand coordination

  • This suggests the amount of times that a baby or small child would have to look at the game and move his or her hands in order to operate the game. As the child grows older they gain more ability to hold, twist and move smaller objects. We say that they become more dexterous.
  • Babies find it very difficult to grab hold of very small objects. This is partly because their hands and fingers are so small but also it is because their muscles have yet to properly develop.
  • When designing toys it is important to consider a child's ability to hold and move the toy. Large handles are an important feature of baby's toys.

Counting skills

  • Does the game involve the baby or child in any counting or simple math's skills?
  • There are many different types of toys and games that encourage the child to learn how to count and use numbers in a creative way. One of the earliest counting types of toy was the abacus. This simple counting device was not only used as a toy but as a counting tool for adults. It comprised of a number of hollow beads held together on vertical rods set into a frame.

Fun factor

  • Is the game fun to play and does the child become bored with playing the game after a short period?

Educational Value

  • Is the game rich in learning content? For example does the child learn about words, numbers, history, space travel e.t.c? Or is the game purely fun involving no real knowledge.

Shape and colour recognition

  • Is the game colourful?
  • Is the game made up of interesting shapes and forms?