We’ve all heard the phrase “learn through play,” but it’s often associated with toys and activities designed specifically for educational purposes. STEM toys are great, but can you still get the benefits of edutainment (that’s the term for educational entertainment) with other types of kids’ toys? The answer is YES, and we’ve rounded up 6 awesome and easy ways to put an educational spin on non-STEM activity kits. Read on to discover all sorts of play patterns you didn’t realize were hidden in some of kids’ favorite activities.
Not only are these ceramic tiles adorable (and functional!) but they can be used for counting, storytelling, learning colors, and even puzzle-making. Have your little one create rows and count how many are in each, or line them up and practice basic math when you add or take one away. With this Made By Me® tile art kit, you can paint a scene across the grid of all 12, then mix them up and use your critical thinking skills to put the puzzle back together again!
Who doesn’t love to play cards? Fun for groups or a solo activity, the Young Scientists Club® animal card games are so rawr-some, you’d never guess you’re actually learning the whole time. Test your memory and matching skills to identify animals and their tracks — like a mountain lion, black bear, and alligator — or play bingo with 80 illustrated game cards. Even the most classic games can have a fun, educational twist!
The Ultimate Hands-On Learning
When we say “hands-on” we really mean it! Sensory bins encourage kids to dig in with all 10 fingers — because tactile activities are all about the feels. This Made By Me® sensory bin lets kids explore and create, using everything from water beads and rollers to molds, play sand, and pebbles. Reach in, touch, squeeze, build — it’s the perfect open-ended playtime activity and a great opportunity to engage in cognitive tasks like sorting, counting, or storytelling!
Fun & Imaginative Little Tikes® Dot Art
Zoom into some seriously fun edutainment for the littlest learners! Dot art is packed with preschool skill-building benefits, including strengthening fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Kids can get a sense of spatial awareness as they Play Big and dot their way through this 15-page Little Tikes® activity book — it helps build visual tracking to determine shapes and patterns, too! The page scenes are so fun for kids to create their own stories and enjoy screen-free pretend play in a four-wheeled world. Beep beep!
Save Up for A Mer-Mazing Adventure
Forget boring piggy banks, this paint-your-own mermaid bank by Just My Style® makes saving money even more fun! Not only is it a splash to paint your mermaid tail with holographic colors (plus play with the sequin flip decal!), but it’s a creative way to teach money management and goal setting. When kids learn to understand the value of money, they’re more likely to save and spend wisely. Giving them a personalized space to keep their treasures is offering them ownership over their funds — a great lesson in growing up.
Bring On-Screen Friends Off-Screen
Everyone’s favorite four-legged pal does a lot more than go on adventures and sing about lollipops. Bluey also loves puzzles, word scrambles, mazes, and stickers — everything that’s packed into this 90-page activity book! These classic learning activities help little pups improve concentration, recognize and identify colors and shapes, and develop fine motor skills. Plus, the whole Heeler crew is along for the ride, which makes it even more fun! It’s much more than a chance for little ones to get creative — these are the building blocks of learning! Ready, set, Goanna!
When it comes to motivating kids to learn, there’s nothing easier than doing it through play. And that’s exactly what edutainment is — making learning enjoyable. So whether your little one likes to draw, build sand castles, or do puzzles, there’s a way to turn each activity into a learning experience. Find one (or more) that will work for your child, then tag us on Instagram or Facebook so we can see your edutainment in action!