We live in a world that tends to offer an endless variety of toys to children. In some cases, they are electronic toys that do nothing more than pass the time and certainly do nothing to promote creativity, let alone education. More and more frequently, however, toys that do promote education are being chosen by concerned parents who want their children to get more out of life. What are some of the options that are available for educational and creative toys and why are they being chosen in increasing numbers?The popularity of any item often drives the market for those types of products. That is the case with educational toys, as their popularity has caused an increase in the diversity of toys that are available. These toys do more than simply provide an educational experience for the children. They are also classified as toys because they are entertaining. When you combine both the educational and the entertainment factors of toys for children, you end up with a popular item that can help to shape a child’s life from a very young age.Many parents are also choosing classic toys for their children, which have seen a comeback in recent years. Many of the classic toys include puzzles as a feature, which can help to promote the thinking ability of the growing child. In addition, the toys that are considered to be classic also have more long-term value in the fact that they can be played for a longer duration. While most electronic games tend to be swapped out within just a few weeks or months, these classic games can be passed down from one child to the next.An additional benefit of choosing educational toys, which has also led to their popularity, is the fact that they lend themselves well to family time. How many times have you seen a child bury himself in a handheld computer game and have no interaction with the family or world around them? When educational toys are chosen, it may help to promote conversations with the family and can certainly make a difference in the social skills of the child.Some of the creative toys which have that benefit are board games. Many of those games are classics and can be enjoyed by the entire family. An increasing number of educational toys are also available that promote the involvement of other family members as well. When the entire family gets involved in the education and gameplay of the child, it helps to forge relationships.Regardless of the age of the child, there are going to be family-friendly, educational and creative toys available. In some cases, they will give specific direction to the child, helping them to foster skills in science, math, language or even social skills. It also gives parents the opportunity to purchase a toy which will not have a novelty that is going to wear off after a very short amount time. It’s a win-win situation, which benefits both the child and the family unit.
Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is a rather new field of education. We can see it as an innovative kind of future education for schools linking the child’s development with the future challenges of society.I don’t think that education for sustainable development is just another buzzword forgotten in a few years. From a global perspective as well as a local perspective we have to direct education toward what will be truly useful for each child and for each society in the future.To have a fulfilling life should be within reach for all children wherever they are born. In too many parts of society and of the world children grow up in hazardous environments with very poor conditions for basic requirements and bleak prospects for their future.Education for Sustainable Development is derived from the Brundtland report’s focus on Sustainable Development (SD). The Brundtland report requires fundamental changes in the society and its institutions, in politics and in our individual family life styles. Economic development cannot be separated from social development and a concern for the environment.ESD for child development Educational research can tell us a lot of how to make use of education for sustainable development for child development.The most important fact might be that ESD is an excellent frame for the empowerment of children. When we respect each individual child for its ideas and opinion, and at the same time bring the child into challenging learning situations we facilitate empowerment of the child.Developing self esteem and empowerment goes hand in hand in education for sustainable development. A proper self esteem is such an important part of successful child development.Another important fact is that ESD is a productive frame for meaningful learning. Opposite to rote learning and the acquisition of facts without much understanding meaningful learning situations help the child to engage fully in the teaching. By working with real problems the child can develop much better understanding of concepts and skills from the schools core curriculum in a meaningful context. The key to that is the opportunity to use and reflect on these ‘traditional’ ingredients of classic schooling in the meaningful contexts derived from the focus on sustainable development.Education for sustainable development and schools Some schools have focused on the beautification of their school environment. This might help the school’s prestige in the local society but it isn’t helpful for education for sustainable development unless it happens as the students’ project.Similarly some schools have put a lot of emphasis in making the school buildings more ‘green’ with solar power panels, recycling systems, water conservation measures and tree planting around the school. Again, such initiatives are only valuable for the learning of the students if they are planned as student projects. You cannot evaluate the quality of a school’s work with education for sustainable development from a picture of the school.Concerning a better approach to ESD, headmaster and teachers should ask questions like: – How can we challenge students’ thinking on the future and how to make use of parts of the core curriculum in a meaningful way in combination? – How can we teachers cooperate to create stimulating activities and plan the teaching in such a way that the self-esteem of the students will benefit from it? – How can we help students to investigate local people’s concern for the future and how to make sense of such results? – How can we help students to try to make a difference according to their wishes and visions?Education for sustainable development will gain increasing publicity as the picture of environmental degradation, energy shortage, climate change, increasing poverty mixed with increasing wealth and the overall picture of globalization becomes more evident.We cannot blame our children for these issues but it is our duty to educate them to be able to cope with such complex and controversial issues and to live a decent life with a belief that it is possible for everybody to make a difference to the better.
If there is one thing that all children have in common, it’s the fact that they enjoy playing. Even if there are no toys available, they will fabricate their own toys out of raw materials that are located in their area. Of course, we live in a world that provides many different play options for children, some of which are better suited for their development. That is why many parents consider giving educational toys when compared to other toys that may be available on the market.One of the primary reasons why parents choose educational toys is because of the impact that it has on the development of their child. This is something that can be measured quite quickly once the choice of toys has been determined. From a very young age, children are being molded by the activities that they do, not only during their younger years but during their older years as well. If you provide them with educational activities that also offer them enjoyment and fun, you will find that they are growing as a result. What are some of the considerations for educational toys that can help with the development of your child?The beauty of many toys that focus on education is the fact that they may focus on one specific area. In that way, you can help to mold the mind of your child and to provide them with specific skills that will benefit them for the rest of their life. For example, you may find that your child is musically inclined and there certainly are a number of educational music toys that are available on the market. These can help to foster that love of music in your child and can help you to recognize where you should take it at its next level.There are also many educational toy options available for other areas as well. These include science, literacy and math. If you provide a child with an age-appropriate toy that helps to teach them one of those skills, it is something that they are going to carry with them for the rest of their life. It wasn’t all that many years ago that the responsibility of teaching a child the basics of reading and math fell squarely on the shoulders of the educational system. Today, many children are entering school with those basic skills and even some advance skills because of the toys that are now available.Although educational toys are going to provide a number of benefits to the development of your children, they also tend to be more expensive. You need to look at the larger picture, however, which will help you to make the right choice. Toys that are built for educational purposes are often built to a much higher quality, so they are going to last longer than the plastic trinkets that have no real benefit for your child. In addition, the skills that are learned through the use of those toys are going to benefit your child and your family for many years to come.