When looking at educational toys this Christmas, what should I look for?
This is a great question
When shopping for toys for Christmas, more and more parents are looking towards toys that are designed to actually help children to learn and at the same time providing them with lots of enjoyment.
For the past year or two there has been a real growth in this area & manufacturers around the world are really responding to this growing demand from parents and children.
Firstly, what does STEAM mean?
the STEAM acronym actually stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. The term actually started life as STEM (without the Art), but more recently Art has also been included.
So a STEAM based toy is one that is meant to incorporate at least one of these areas of learning into the toy. In other words it goes a bit further than using the term "Educational Toy" and is now really a buzz word.
What is a "Coding Toy"?
STEAM based toys generally don't have to be electronic based, however many are. Some electronic toys have a "Coding" ability, which means the toy can be programmed in some way to carry out some sort of pre-assigned task. Sometimes this is movement (ie. asking a robot toy to walk in a certain route), but it can be all sorts of things depending on the inbuilt features of the toy.
A "Coding" Toy is normally programmed by using a Smart Phone or a computer & an APP or a computer Software specially designed by the toy manufacturer. It is connected to the toy normally by USB cable or sometimes Bluetooth. Once the cable is connected, normally the software allows you to drag and drop specific task or motions for the toy. Putting these actions together - then allows your toy to follow your pre-determined instructions.
Once a child gets very good at coding their toy, and instructions get more complicated, it almost seems as though the toy has a mind of it's own.
Techoutlet is a real specialist in the area of STEAM based toys & has a good range. Feel free to take a look at the toy section of our website: https://techoutlet.co.nz/collections/toys
OR phone us/call in and see us if you would like to talk some more about this!