Can these educational toys and games teach children skills that will help them in interview sessions with schools?
Yes definitely! For example, although Play Smart does not cater specifically to ‘interview training’, our toys do teach children the essential skills they need to know between ages one to six, and these skills are also what psychologists and observers happen to look for when they interact with children in school interview sessions. For example, blocks, puzzles and cards help teach visual discrimination, and we also have material that builds logical skills. The material hones certain skills, helps children practise and also gives them the confidence they need for interview conditions, where new material has to be dealt with.
Why did you decide to join an educational toy library? How do you think joining this library has benefited your child?
I joined an educational toy library because I thought it would turn out most economical for me – it is easier and cheaper to rent out toys on a weekly basis and use them, rather than buying toys over a period of time. I think it has benefitted my child in that an educational toy library like Play Smart has a variety of toys that are appropriate for my child’s age and learning stage.
Do you think children learn better using the traditional aids and toys, or new, technological ones (like the iPad or even interactive CDs)?
I don’t think it’s about traditional aids or technological ones alone, but rather a combination of these that a child learns from. Older, traditional toys are definitely helpful; the ideas behind them have been passed on over generations, and they help teach basic skills easily. However, technological aids too have their own advantages, and help teach more complex skills in an interactive way.
Does your child also engage in unstructured play where she is free to play at what she wants?
Yes, more often than not, my child engages in unstructured play. While some play sessions may be with educational toys, others just occur naturally, where my child has no fixed things planned. She just sits around and starts playing with objects in the house. I often see her with a pen and paper, for example, pretending to write important letters.