In this age group, children are meeting many challenges. “Friendships become more and more important. Physical, social, and mental skills develop quickly at this time. This is a critical time for children to develop confidence in all areas of life, such as through friends, schoolwork, and sports,” as reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
A New Influence
By the end of this period, you will notice another influence on your child’s decision making – peer pressure. A self-confident child will be able to rebuff many comments by peers, but a child with low self-esteem may not. Bullying can be an issue for some children at this stage.
You will want to support their learning through many activities in which they engage, and this includes the toys you select.
In school, the focus is on learning to read and mathematical concepts.
But you will also want to broaden their horizons by investigating their personal interests as well. These interests can fall into science, social studies, the arts, physical pursuits, STEM (a combination of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
Kids this age are setting life patterns. With the epidemic of overweight children in the modern world, getting them active may be a focus for many parents, grandparents, and relatives.
The Importance of Reading
While children are in the three first years of their formal schooling, they are learning how to read. There are many toys to introduce and enhance reading skills.
Once they are competent readers, they will use these skills for reading to learn other concepts. While practicing their reading, they will be expanding their vocabulary, and learn to read in between the lines (comprehension) as well as learn about other concepts such as social studies and science. The recommendation for toys (learning tools) is, therefore, divided into 2 major sections: Learning to Read and Expanding Reading Skills.
Learning to Read
In Kindergarten or preschool, children learn the alphabet and some basic reading concepts such as movement from left to right in scanning for text. In the early grades, they are using the basic letters to familiarize themselves with family groupings of rhyming words, endings, and other patterns of vocabulary. It is essential to realize that most of their reading involves small letters as capitals are reserved for special places in reading, such as the start of sentences or names. So, any alphabet activity is more effective if the letters are not in capitals. It is shocking how many toys involve are made of capital letters. Look for toys that have the small letters for their activities.
From individual words kids can move on to making sentences with this activity that has game formats too.
Expanding Reading Skills
Once children can read fluently and understand the meaning of the text, it is critical to practice this skill. The more engaging the activity, the more learning takes place. Often games are very effective at building vocabulary as well as expanding reading in between the lines or comprehension.
Word Waffle is a fun game to learn new words and expand basic vocabulary. It comes in different grade levels
This game provides many family friendly options in its choices for discussion. It is an award winner for motivating reluctant readers.
The level of reading is just right for 8 to 10 year olds. If the game is too long change the rules and time it for half an hour and then add up the money for a winner.
The name of the game says it all! This is a hilarious game for families who like some off color choices. It is very motivating for kids who like to shock others.
The Importance of Mathematics
Similarly, the foundations of mathematics must be acquired before attempting more advanced skills. In the first 3 years of schooling, all areas of mathematics are studied, but learning the basic mathematical concepts are used in all areas. So there is a need for number skills to be mastered. After this basic education, the mathematics curriculum broadens to include many other different concepts. Therefore, the toys (learning tools) are divided into 2 areas – Number skills and Broader Concepts
In many school systems, the vast majority of children master the number facts quickly, acquiring a solid basis for more advanced skills. But some struggle with this aspect. We all know that practice makes perfect in many instances. Captivating a child in a fun activity to practice these basic concepts is simple with the right toys.
Many kids like the game but some find it tedious. It is similar to scrabble but with opportunity to practise basic mathematical concepts.
Broader Concepts: (Geometry, Measurement, Patterning, Data Management and Numeracy)
The geometric building toy can be expanded for greater complexity. The magnets allow kids to build easily.
In different parts of the world, children are introduced to a variety of science topics, but usually, these include such favorites as rocks and minerals, weather, caring for our environment, animals and plants, and the solar system. A child can be inspired to investigate more about a topic they have studied at school or been introduced to through another means such as a video, a visit to a science center or natural curiosity. With children in this age group, it is often easy to create interest in a scientific topic with the right toy.
Young kids can learn about electrical circuits in a safe and easy way. Once a child understands the basics there are many opportunities for explorations.
For rock hounds this kit will give hours of investigation. National Geographic has a reputation for quality products
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)
Stem toys are ones that integrate several disciplines to achieve a common end. Immediately several different types of toys come to mind- building kits, robotics, remote control vehicles, and others.
Marble runs have been a favourite toy for many years. The Gravitrax moves beyond the toddler toy. For kids who like to build things, it can be all encompassing. 2019 Finalist for Toy of The Year.
The Social World Around Us
As a child moves through the grades, they will be introduced to many different societies. Their interest in other cultures can be extended through toys and games, whether they have been the focus of school study or as a result of a recent visit to the local museum.
Medieval times if often studied in the early primary years. Providing a castle for exploration gives kids a change to share what they have learned.
Some school systems start music education at this level. Others have specialized art programs, and many more integrate these areas of study into other areas of study. You may want to cultivate a growing interest with the right set of tools.
Studio in a Box is an instant motivator for a budding artist. The many different materials will lead to a variety of projects. Everything fits in one box so the kit can be easily transported to different locations.
There is a national health crisis in many modern countries among its youth population. Increasingly children are overweight due to a preponderance for processed foods and less activity. You can entice you, child, into increased activity through toys that promote movement.
There are many different starter kits for the various sports. Often children need to try different opportunities before they settle on one they want to pursue.
Emotional and Social Growth:
With the emphasis on the importance of friends, you can expect that your child will be experiencing strong emotions. Guidance in this area is often ignored if the child perceives you are interfering. One way to open up the conversation is to play a game to spark discussions of appropriate behavior in an accepting environment.
Hedbanz is an easy to play game that encourages listening, thinking and taking turns. It is suitable for many ages.
This activity is a blend between story telling and an exploration of emotions. So while building speaking skills the game focuses on exploring emotional experiences.
Stop, Relax, and Think is based on therapy practices to encourage impulsive children to develop strategies for control in an intriguing game environment.
5 Powerful Strategies for Using Media to Combat Racism: Kids 7 to 12 See the best videos and books to combat racism for kids aged 7 to 12. Keep your kids engaged and discussing diversity and inclusion. Give them strategies to use to stand up to racism.
How to Select a Phonics Program: 5 Criteria Testimonial: Maryam Hegazy Great read! Thank you.
Outdoor Activities Many parents are searching for ideas for having fun in the outdoors whether it is on a balcony, in a backyard, or in a larger area. Take a look at these ideas for all ages.
Playing Games Together: Do you have kids of different ages? Help them learn to play cooperatively together through games. Parent Testimonial: McKenna Jerman – I clue lol it’s screaming and fighting with each other all day. But the moments they share together are so special.
Reading Games : Are you trying to think of activities for the kids you have at home during the coronavirus? Here are some games to promote reading skills.
Mathematical Games: Here are some suggestions to make academic time FUN. Instead of mathematics assignments, try games.