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Toys for Gifted Children

education educational toys learning toys STEM toys

Here at eBeanstalk.com, one of the most frequent questions we encounter is ‘Which toy is most appropriate for my child?’.  Now children come in all shapes and sizes and all are as unique as the snowflakes during a winter flurry.  For children that learn a bit faster than other children, or are “gifted”, this often requires just as many challenges as any other characteristic.  They need constant attention to flourish and avoid boredom and need special social needs as well.  However, first off, it is helpful to mention that many children are gifted in different ways, and we don’t necessarily like the term ‘gifted’ to separate out some children from others as better or superior. That’s not necessarily the case.  


Furthermore, how do we define ‘gifted’? “One of the most popular definitions, dating to the early 1990s, is ‘asynchronous development.’ That means, roughly, a student whose mental capacities develop ahead of chronological age. This concept matches the most popular tests of giftedness: IQ tests. Scores are indexed to age, with 100 as the average; a 6-year-old who gives answers characteristic of a 12-year-old would have an IQ of 200.” (Kamenetz, 2015).

For these specific individuals which may comprise up to 5% of the population, there is a distinct need to move at a greater pace and delve deeper, as students and children as a whole, whose intellectual abilities or interests don't match those of their peers, and also consequently, often have special social and emotional needs.

For that reason, we believe toys need to have the following characteristics to effectively cater to the fast learners in any group:

  • FUNGIBILITY: Ability to grow and keep growing and scale into larger and deeper subjects. We believe toys that allow for escalating levels and extend into more developed disciplines allow children to continue to pursue and develop beyond a single level.  For example, robotics kits that allow for additional modules and more advanced applications allow students to extend their love of robots and programming.  Toys like the Smart Robot is a great start.

 

  • PROJECT-BASED: Ability to build a project and investigate surrounding aspects of a subject. This would allow the student or child to work towards a larger goal or presents multiple dimensions of that goal. Think of it as allowing the child to explore, many aspects of one subject.  For example, a science kit, that allow for multiple experiments surrounding a single phenomenon like the Learning Resources Science Color Mixing Set for our young kids or the Thames and Kosmos Science Experiments On the Go for our older kids. 

 

  • DEPTH OF CONTENT: Ability to delve into deeper high-level material and draw into details and emerging fields. This allows children to extend into more creative levels once they master the elementary levels.  For example, in crafts, the Aquabeads allow a child to continue to develop their creativity beyond the starter kit with limitless different combinations.

 

  • ABILITY FOR GROUP WORK: Ability to work and socially communicate on the subject. This allows children to communicate and develop socially with children of like levels and interests.  For example, a puzzle would allow children to work together to finish and accomplish a goal. 

 

Every individual child is unique and develops within their own timeline.  We all want the best for our kids and there are many tools available to help their development at each stage.  We want to see every child flourish and reach their full potential.  We hope to help nurture their education along the way with providing fun and exciting new learning products for the whole family to enjoy.



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