It’s a new year. We got new toys for the holidays. It’s time to turn those toys into learning resources! This month I have a mix of items for you. Some are new to our toybox and others have been in heavy rotation for some time.
I plan on this Toy School/Game School thing being a lasting series on the site. I love writing it. I love figuring out ways to play with items not necessarily thought of as educational and unlocking the lesson. That is not to say that my lesson is the only lesson. If you find other ways to use the items featured in these posts educationally please share with me. If you have a toy that your child absolutely loves and adores but you can’t figure out the educational component let me know. I would love to take the challenge of figuring a lesson out for you.
Just My Style Paint Your Own Mermaid Bank – Art is always a win in our home. This bank is a wonderful size. It comes with gorgeous paint colors and a magic sequin decal. This is the perfect project for an at-home art class AND is a wonderful transition or conclusion to a financial literacy class. It’s never too early to start talking about money.
Ask Einstein – We’ve been playing with this for a few months. We love it so much that I truly believed that I shared it with you way back when. I have been sharing it offline with all of my friends and even included using it with a group of moms during one of my bi-monthly community virtual chats. I know. This is an easy call as a learning game because it is designed to be one. The thing is though that we need to think outside the box when using traditional learning toys. Rather than sitting JustaBXgirl down to do straight flashcards she plays school with her toys and Einstein is the teacher or teacher’s pet! She has her dolls as contestants on a game show and Einstein is the host.
Beaker Creatures – We have been a fan of these for years. You can read about them and how I thought they were a great way to avoid the summer slide back in 2018. JustaBXgirl received a reactor pod in her stocking over Christmas and reminded us how much she enjoyed them. They’re a fun way to merge science and collecting.
Journey Girls Dolls – I know, if you follow me on social media you are over reading about these dolls. JustaBXgirl got one for Christmas 2019 and is still in love with it. I am a huge advocate for pretend play especially around when it includes baby dolls. Children learn empathy, compassion and so much for caring for their toys. Adults learn and get an inside look into how our littles see the world when we observe them playing with dolls. You might not normally think of one as an educational tool but I want to challenge you to look closer. Not only can life skills be taught through pretend play with dolls but actual learning skills. JustaBXgirl sends her doll to school and teaches lessons she learned either from school or mommy.