Thursday, 24 January 2013

Good Game, Good Game!

In a world where the economists are being Very Gloomy, it is interesting to note that the Toy Industry seems to be virtually recession proof. Toys continue to sell well, round the world

snakes ladders

A recent report on the BBC website [here] says that some of the older ‘traditional’ games are good for children, because they develop numeracy and literacy skills.

DSCF5143And building with Lego helps develop motor skills. Newer toys have benefit too – the Top Trumps Cards develop confidence, memory and comparison skills.

legoThe Horrible Histories games have innumerable benefits [These games include a challenge for Genghis Khan to collect enemies' heads, and players fire plastic rotten pigs at each other! but the kids love them]

Electronic toys are incredibly popular – and parents believe they are getting value for money if the toys they buy have educational value as well as entertainment value. Learning tablet devices for youngsters were among the biggest sellers of 2012.On the other hand, statistics show that Grandparents are very keen on buying more traditional wooden toys!

What do you look for when buying toys?

Educational value, educational value or a mixture of both?

Play is really important for children’s development – as Carla and Tom have demonstrated [here]

What was your favourite toy as a child?

What do the kids round you play with now?


  1. It's too funny that you posted this today because I blogged about playing games too. When my children were younger, I did look for games that had both educational value and were also fun.

  2. DD's toys are mainly for imagination play. She loves hers dollys and is a very attentive "mother" to them, she also loves her play kitchen and fixes everyone "cup'o'tea" throughout the dear and cooks dinners in her oven and microwave.
    She likes little tiny toys like plastic animals who have wonderful adventures around the house and are always falling out, making friends, having wars or being told off.
    On my kindle fire we have educational games and a virtual pet because she was desperate for a pet and we didn't want a "real" one.
    x x x

  3. Great post (of course) and lots of things I didn't know - for example, there are Horrible Histories GAMES? I'm really surprised my boys haven't found out about this - they love the books and endlessly quote from episodes they watched while in the UK. They have discovered Lego games, which are remarkably clever - you build your own and follow the game instructions, but there are always extra characters and suggestions about how you can modify the game and create your own rules, which combines the traditional boardgame with the versatility of Lego. My own favourite toy? Certainly Little Grey Rabbit, who's had a post or two of her own on my blog. I used to dress her and then mend her clothes. Other than that, it was favourite activities, like excavating the midden in my grandparents' garden!

  4. I am using the snowy weather to make some "toys" for my toddler inspired by some of the Montessori materials. These are proving to be a great favourite with him - and I am sure he doesn't realise how much he is learning to boot.

    Its a great counterpoint to a spot of technology and his grandparents love getting involved with him too.

  5. I'm very careful about buying toys, and wont be seduced into buying the latest craze. As an ex teacher I know the value of a well produced toy, which in itself will be educational.
    Mind you, my children loved to play with a wooden spoon and a saucepan. Very educational.

  6. I think that you need four things actually- educational value, educational value, educational value, and the ability to keep mumamused after bedtime when she really be tidying it away. I was more gutted than anyone else when Happyland finally went to the attic! It amazes me that even with a DSi each and a family Wii, it's Chess, Monopoly and Cluedo that are the staples. And none of these need batteries or WiFi or the latest extortionate game! Cradboard boxes also still highly popular.. My only regret is not getting more Charlie and Lola DVDs before they were old enough to protest.

  7. As a grandma who lives close to her littles, I have given them books, wooden blocks, Lego, and play kitchen and doll beds. We also have a game called Concentration, a matching game, that they love.

    What they love to do is to work with me in the garden and they also like to help me clean. I give them spray bottles with water/soap and a rag. Hey, we might as well teach them to work AND play!

  8. Always looked for mixture of education al and fun toys.
    My favourite was a little garden set with plastic flowerbeds and lawns etc. made an airfix cottage to go with it I seem to remember! Wonder if it's still in the loft?

    We still play games when on holiday and do not have a TV in the caravan. At christmas emma (16) requested Pictionary as a present and we had so much fun and laughter with it.
    Had a year 1 class last week for a "traditional" toys lesson. They loved all the old wooden toys especially the pecking hens!!

  9. Seems like we all agree on that one then! I love Lego, andy small 'play people', wooden toys like 'pecking hens' [and cradboard boxes, Mags!]


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