As it is known, playing is one of the essential activities children must involve in. This comes along, almost always, with toys, games, and even random objects that babies and children from different ages use creatively.
Toys, then, are part of an increasing children market in the last decades. Children are viewed as an especially profitable market for toy companies and other industries, whose products like candy, desserts, soft drinks, comic books, video games, and many more are desirable for kids .
In the 2000s, according to an APA investigation, advertisers spent an average of 12 billion USD to reach children and young audiences .
Being such a huge market, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the toy industry is very powerful and practically omnipresent. When a type of product earns such a success, diversifying it is an obvious next step. So, today we have an array of different kinds of toys.
In this post, we’ll focus on educational toy companies and their products, what are the benefits, which companies produce these toys, and a few examples of the development of educational toys.
What are educational toys?
Before learning about the companies, we’ll talk briefly about what an educational toy is and which benefits they comprise. Let’s just remember that the idea of children-focused education is very modern, so the children-oriented products, beyond toys, have been around for not more than three centuries.
Toy manufacturers realized in some moment that the objects they produced could help children to acquire abilities or improve their skills. Of course, it can be argued that almost every toy will help develop a skill for a child.
That’s why giving an exact definition of an educational toy is a bit difficult. In the end, all toys can have some educational value. So, to help understand what is usually labeled today as an educational toy, we must examine the objective of the toy.
Educational toys are developed with the purpose of encouraging the development of children, whether intellectual, social or psychomotor .
Development in children comprises different skills and educational toy companies create the products to strengthen different abilities, like physical and social skills, school readiness, and academic proficiency.
The boom of educational toys reached out to even promotional products, for example, toys that come with children meals in restaurants sometimes aim for an educational purpose, such as puzzles, or assembling toys. Even some board games can be called educational, depending on the game objective.
Nowadays, educational toy companies do a lot of research to cover the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) field in education. This, along with the constant and growing technology, has turned electronics very useful to educational toys. Let’s find out what are some advantages that these toys come with.
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Educational toys and their benefits
Kids are curious by nature and eager to learn new things, even if the youngest ones aren’t aware of it, the use they give to educational toys and how much they make the most of them vary but in general, some of the benefits they can receive are  :
- A boost-up in their IQ.
Educational toy companies aim to develop various skills with their products, such as hand-eye coordination, memorization, motor skills, or even children’s literacy, this impacts directly on their IQ.
- A widened development of their senses.
Educational toys help children develop preferences and express them, forging a strong personality, by stimulating the senses of touch, sight, and hearing especially, but sometimes smell and taste can be motivated too!
- Learn problem-solving.
Puzzles, building blocks, brain games, and certain videogames are some educational toys that help children to learn how to problem-solve. As a toy challenges their minds, they find a way to go through the task with the tools and skills they already have and acquiring new ones while doing it.
- Enhancement of creativity and imagination.
Educational toy companies put a really big effort to spark the innate curiosity children already have. Kids explore their surroundings to understand where they are and what they can do.
Educational toys help to stimulate imaginative play,
creative acting, exploration, and experimentation.
- Better social interaction and communication.
A good number of educational toys require kids to interact with others. Playing always motivates feelings to arise, so anger, laughter, or even crying are involved. Educational toys can help kids regulate and admit their feelings, as well as to learn about waiting for a turn, sharing, captaincy, teamwork, all of this enhances social development.
Of course, a very important variable for toys to be effective is children’s age and situation. Educational toy companies acknowledge this so they have different lines for each stage (infants, toddlers, elementary-age children, middle school, or children with special needs or learning difficulties ), or they sometimes even focus on only one group.
So, what do educational toy companies do? Keep reading and you’ll find out some interesting data. For Martin’s, toys and games are some of the most exciting products that we manufacture and it’s always our pleasure to work with educational toy companies. If you’re interested in adding these toys to your supply, feel free to contact us by clicking here.
Examples of educational toy companies
Most huge world-class toy manufacturers have today a division in charge of educational toys because they know how valuable these kinds of toys are mainly for parents. That’s why a majority of the biggest toymakers in the world produce educational toys.
Some extremely popular brands such as Lego, Fisher-Price, Mega Bloks (a branch of Mattel), which are part of the top 10 leading toy brands as of 2019 , are recognized too for their educational toys, suitable for children from different ages.
Lego made a global revenue of 5.16 billion euros in 2019, with 1.11 billion being net profit, this let the famous brick company keep its position as the top toy manufacturer .
As big educational toy companies, they perform a lot of retail marketing strategies in order to maintain their customers and get new ones as it is a very competitive market. Innovation and tech-oriented toys are just a regular component.
There are also educational toy companies devoted exclusively to these toys and all of their marketing is built up around education, for example, Learning Resources, which divides its toys according to age and purposes, having won numerous toy awards.
Another example is Melissa & Doug, founded in 1988, whose toys (blocks, wooden puzzles, musical toys, etc.) became a hit because of their great design. This active educational toy company works at present without flashy merchandising or digital toys .
Additionally, there are educational toy companies focused on EdTech, meaning they develop toys and tools that help to build an engaging and entertaining workspace for children, mostly at school, but at home too.
These companies include Lego Education, LeapFrog, Osmo, Meccano, littleBits, amongst others, which rely heavily upon electronics to develop educational software, games, and electronic devices to awaken today children’s curiosity .
Of course, most educational toy companies also work with regular wholesale toys.
Want to know more about their production? Click here and read about it.
So, as you can see, there are a good bunch of educational toy companies that trade their products globally. A good amount of toys in the world are considered educational toys because of the purpose the manufacturer had when making them. Let’s see a pair of cases of development of educational toys.
In Martin’s, we are always eager to collaborate in the development of new products, if you want help for your project, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll assist you.
Educational toy companies: developing their products
Let’s talk about two different educational toys. The first one will be one more focused on having lots of fun and the second one while being entertaining too, it’s more related to EdTech.
A day on the beach is one of the most cherished memories for children that have the opportunity to go there. The weather, the sound of waves, swimming, and playing with sand are a lot of fun!
But sand isn’t too practical to take it home and play with it. Some people created this sand that, coated with silicone oil, meaning a polymer derivative , mimics wet sand and it can be played with as if it were playdough.
It comes in different and brilliant colors and children, by slicing, smashing and stretching the material, build figures or they set in motion their imaginative skills. Creativity and motor skills are heavily stimulated with this toy. Social abilities are developed as well when playing with other people.
Making this kinetic sand also needs the manufacturing of their containers, which are regularly made of plastic. This is when plastic product design helps to establish the best way to keep the sand safe while being flashy for children to be interested in the product.
The constant development of digital, wireless, and online technologies have propelled many educational toys for the new generations. Tablets, for instance, have been produced for many purposes, amongst them, the educational one.
Originally marketed for adults and as a work tool, nowadays there is an array of different types of tablets.
Besides the typical tablet with games or precharged software, sometimes a kid would just appreciate where to doodle, draw or, when it’s the case, write. This really simple tablet not only stimulates creativity but develops academic and motor skills while strengthening the kids’ intelligence.
When we say that this kind of tablet is simple, we mean it because it works like an upgraded notepad, but not because of its complex manufacturing. Its separate components, many of them made of different plastics, must be carefully managed, decorated, and assembled to make a functional pretty tablet that is a modern educational toy.
In Martin’s, we’re involved with the manufacturing and production of toys in general and educational toys such as the two mentioned previously. Send to us an email or give us a call if you want to discuss a project concerning toy manufacturing.
The future of educational toy companies: COVID-19 and beyond
Finally, we want to discuss a little of what’s next for educational toy companies. At present, educational toys were an excellent option for parents to keep their kids busy while they worked from home, a situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic .
Not only these toys help kids to fight the boredom and pressure of being confined, but also they have the chance to develop and practice the different skills we’ve talked about, like concentration and motor development according to their age.
As millions of children had to take online classes, educational software saw a boom and the same happened to personal computers and tablets, which were made mandatory tools for kids.
Are you interested in learning more about the challenges that plastic manufacturers face in the context of the coronavirus pandemic? Don’t miss our article regarding this topic.
So, the outlook for toys and educational toys is not dreary. Moreover, educational toys, especially for babies, are expected to experience massive growth by 2025, according to an HTF Market report , due mostly to the population growth and economic reactivation.
Educational toys for infants depend a lot on plastic as their main material. This is not a surprise as plastics are versatile, durable, mostly safe, and very affordable. Through plastic injection molding, a lot of toys (including the educational ones) are made like dolls, rattles, buckets, shovels, action figures, blocks, etc.
In Martin’s, we love to guide our clients with their projects and we’re always excited to work with new plastic products and new customers. We have a wide experience developing toys and toy parts for other companies and we’ll be glad to assist you. You’re just a click away to reach out to us and experience our excellent services.
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