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Parent Today: Toys that teach prove valuable long after the holidays

photo of alphabet blocksJust as the Grinch puzzled and puzzed 'til his puzzler was sore (that maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store), Parent Today contributor Karen Nerney weighs in on the value of finding "toys that teach" under the Christmas tree. 

A look of alarm crossed my son's face when I suggested there would be only learning gifts under the tree this year.

"That's a horrible idea," he said, as visions of flash cards, "boring educational books," dictionaries and maps danced through his head.

I assured him he had nothing to fear — most of the items on his wish list, including Legos® (construction, problem-solving) and the Hot Wheels® Super Loop Chase Race set (velocity, gravity), are learning toys. He breathed a sigh of relief.

Toys that teach are gifts that keep on giving long after the decorations have been packed away. But remember: The packaging doesn't have to scream "learn something from this" for its contents to be educational. In fact, toys that obviously promote a lesson may be less appealing and have less play value than those that encourage a child to unknowingly explore and learn.

Read the complete story on the Parent Today website. Not a Parent Today subscriber? Why not? It's free for Marcellus residents. Find out more by clicking here.

Copyright ©2014 by Parent Today and Capital Region BOCES; Used with permission.

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