The cutest amongst all toys are the little animals, birds, insects and the reptiles. Though created with the intention of primarily entertaining the child, parents and teachers, alike use it to also educate the child about the animal kingdom, in general. In fact, in a number of schools in India, children attending pre-school are told various tales from Panchatantra, as well as stories that form a part of the anthology titled – Jataka tales. To make it entertaining, teachers use animal toys as props.
Apart from the soft toys, or what are also known as the stuffed toys, there are animal puppets that are also used when teaching children. This is because it has been noticed that children prefer learning through entertaining means, and learn whatever they are taught concretely when they are made to enjoy what they are being taught.
Art n crafts: One of the most helpful tools in developing the movement and dexterity of the fingers is by having children indulge in arts and crafts. Apart from that is also is known to concretise the learning of various concepts and words. For instance, to teach a child how to recognise the letter ‘A’, it would be effective to have the child colour within a stencilled outline of this alphabet.
While that is an example of an art activity, in the crafts section, the child can be taught about animals and the common parts of an animal by making them do a craft activity. One such activity could be to draw an outline of, say, a dog; and make cut-outs of the various parts such as the eyes, nose, whiskers, ears and tail, which they can paste onto the animal.
The use of arts and crafts into teaching a child, gives them practical experience, which can also be considered as a solid experience, thereby effectively teaching the child something and at the same time ingraining it into their memory.
Baby learning toys
Many may find this hard to believe, but the fact is that various researches and experiments have proven that a human beings learning process begins from the womb, continuing into infancy – increasing with each passing year. So, when one feels that a baby learns the least, they are wrong, because what the baby learns then is the base for the rest of his/her life.
Baby learning toys are basically the various kinds of teethers and squeaky dolls and toys, along with the colourful flash cards. Learning at this stage is more about development, especially physical development. Thus, the squeaky squeeze toys help the child develop the hand muscles; or rather make their finger dexterous.
Another example of baby learning toys is the walkers. These include those in which you place the baby and he/she walks along with it – holding onto the sides; as well as the pulling carts, jeeps, trucks, etc., that help the child move with more freedom than what is provided with a walker.
Sun-tanning, or just lazing on the beach could be fun for adults, but it is surely boring for the active children, whose boredom threshold is the minimum. So if you want to plan a day out on the beach to relax, then first see that you are well equipped with the beach toys, enough to keep the children busy.
Amongst the most common beach toys are those that are used to construct the sandcastles. This includes the bucket and spade, a few mini-flags and probably some mini-dolls. Amongst the other toys for the beach, is the beach ball, frizzbie, cricket set; and for the younger lot the plastic and rubber toys in varied shapes and sizes. Other toys for the outdoors are the automatic toy planes and the children-jeeps that they can drive safely on the beach.
With beach toys in tow, you can surely enjoy a relaxing day, while the kids are busy at play. However, the most important thing is to keep an eye on them so that they do not get too close to the water.
Anything that is movable seems entertaining to children, which is why almost every toy manufacturer attempts to get the latest automobile inventions in the miniature form to be pushed, pulled or driven around for children. No, nowhere in the world are children given the license to drive on any public roadway, but this does not stop them from driving all the same.
How is this possible? The car toys make it possible to experience what it feels like behind the wheel. Apart from the miniatures that children and adults collect, all the same; there are the larger car toys that have a steering wheel and a brake and gear system that can actually be driven. These are primarily available in the sports car versions, or other car brands with no covering.
These drivable car toys are generally meant for children between the age group of say three-to-five years of age. However, there are pull-cars in which toddlers can sit. These cars basically need to be pulled by someone, giving the child the thrill of paced movement while being seated. Or should it be called a joy ride?!
Cat toys are more popular amongst girls and women, alike. It is said that it has got to do with the basic similarities between the two – one being the curiosity aspect. Like they say ‘curiosity kills the cat’, and the woman too.
Leaving aside this humorous undercurrent, cat toys are available in various sizes and breeds, actually. The most popular of them is the Persian cat. This furry breed is one of the most beautiful and graceful creatures, with the touch of evil pouring out it eyes; yet it becomes a part of many mantelpieces around the world.
For children, the most popular cat toys are the plastic or rubber ones that make the sound of ‘meow’ when it is squeezed or it is switched on. Thus, toys of any animals are fun objects for children when they make animal sounds.
Childrens educational toys
Who said that one needs to be a child to play with childrens educational toys? The fact remains that unless an adult teaches the child how to use the various toys, the child would just be blank about what they have been given.
This leads to an important factor that when investing in childrens educational toys, one must be sure that they would know how to use it effectively for the child’s optimum benefit. The toys have been created for children of al ages, including infants and those in their later childhood years.
Those for infants are the rubber toys that double up as teethers. These are generally available in a variety of shapes that include male and female dolls, animals, birds and insects, amongst others.
Apart from that there are the fruits and vegetables, as well as other basic colourful toys that help teach the young one various important concepts. As they grow up the toys become increasingly complicated, as per the child’s level, thereby pushing the child to discover and understand newer concepts each time.
Since time immemorial, the dog is known to be man’s best friend, because of its innate ability to identify and remain loyal to its owner and his/her family. While most parents would like their children to grow up with some sort of life-company at home, in the form of a sibling or an animal, they may not be able to do so because of varied constrains.
However, lone children are known to make their dolls and other toys their best friend, usually talking to them all that they feel they can talk. It is strange, but true – children tend to make their dog toys their best friend. This is because most children have been let down by human beings, in the sense they realise very early in life that humans are not too good at keeping secrets.
This experience they carry forward to their dolls, believing that talking to their dolls would one day bring them to life and then reveal their secrets. They realise that their dog cannot talk, but bark; so they speak their heart out to their toy dog, in the case where the child does not have real one.
Since the last couple of years, educationalists across the globe have been promoting and propagating the play-way method of educating children. They strongly feel that children learn better through practical experience that goes beyond the colourful pictures and posters. According to them, children are required to use all their five senses when learning basic concepts, and this can done through educational toys and games.
Educational toys and games include the dolls, sculpted into representing various professionals and age groups; those that are sculpted into animals, birds, insects, reptiles, etc. Apart from the dolls, there are other toys such as the children’s kitchen-set, doctor-set, etc. As far as games are concerned, there is such a vast choice that almost every word and concept can be taught through play-way method.
To cut down on expenses and yet provide children with the maximum educational toys and games, many parents and teachers create them on their own. This is more so as far as the flash cards are concerned. They create flash cards on varied concepts, which are colourful and make for a fun-learning method. They also narrate various stories using the soft toys they create at home.
Most parents ignore the importance of inculcating into the child the habit of developing various hobbies. Actually, in today’s times parents cannot be completely blamed, considering the amount of academic pressure their child is put through, as well as the constant demands to excel. So, when at home most children are just made to apply themselves to their books.
For those who are fortunate to indulge in hobbies, one would not actually consider them really lucky, in effect. Why? This is because most parents make their children learn additional skills out of their own displaced passion for the skill; so a vast majority of children attend hobby classes because their parents want them to and not because they themselves enjoy it.
The fact is that there is such a vast range of hobbies to select from, but the child should be given the permission to select what he/she likes to do most. How can parents and teachers help them make the choice?
It is simple, expose them to the various hobby options and then let them realise what they like most. Remember, leisure activities are meant for pleasure, so let the children enjoy whatever they do in their spare time.
toys in india
Toys are considered to be every child’s best friend, no matter which strata of society one hails from. However, it will not be an off-track statement when one claims that it is also every parent’s best friend. No, not the so-called adult toys, but those meant for children. And what does this imply?
So to speak, toys are considered the best tools to keep the child busy, apart from teaching them certain concepts. If you notice, even infants play with their toys, with a certain inquisitiveness to discover every part of the plaything. They experience with all their five senses – and this delving into the existence of the plaything diverts their attention from the parents’ temporary absence.
Apart from this important role played by toys, they in some way or the other educate the child, and that too giving them practical experience of a concept that needs to be learnt. Take for instance by using puppets, parents and teachers are known to have taught children more effectively.
Considering the importance of toys in educating children, most pre-schools have adopted the play-way method of teaching. Experts in the field of pre-school education do support the use of toys to teach children the basics in life – be it educational, or life-skills.
Though almost every toy manufactured could be put to teaching-learning uses, there is however a clear demarcation between the fun-toys and the learning toys. What is the difference? As such, the fun toys are used by children predominantly for playing reasons, either in a group or individually, like the dolls. However, they can teach children when used as an effective teaching prop by the parents or teachers.
In the case of learning toys, these are manufactured primarily with the intent to be a learning devise for children. This commonly includes the toys such as the doctor’s kit, the mini-kitchenette, the flash cards, the building blocks, the electronic games that require children to group objects, spelling games, etc.
The learning toys are what are also probably known as teachers in absentia, which basically implies that they function as teachers in the absence of adult supervision. The child basically is given a chance to learn through trial and error, which is considered to be the best method of teaching one permanent concepts, while competing with the self.
Online toys India
In spite of India progressing in almost all departments, especially the economy, yet as far as child development tools are concerned there is a limitation to the original productions here. This basically implies that there is not much of a variety of original Indian toys, as they are either re-produced or imported and sold at the stores.
This is the reason why most people opt for online toy stores, especially those sold abroad. Apart from the choice, the fact is that is a touch reasonable when ordering online in comparison to making a local purchase. How come this variation in price? This is because when toys are imported the retailer sells it at a higher price, which includes shipping cost, stocking costs, as well as other hidden cost to help him reap profits for his outlet.
Online toy stores on the other hand make sales at the market price and charge the nominal shipping fee.
When wading and swimming in the water is a pleasure by itself, then why do children require pool toys? This is because teaching a child the basics of swimming, as well as them showing them that being in the water could be fun, rather than something fearful.
Whether the child is in an inflated miniature pool, or the constructed private or public pools, the best way to help them overcome the fear of being in water is by keeping them distracted; and this can be done with the use of pool toys. Apart from that playing in water is known to promote stronger physical development, especially of the arms and legs.
The pool toys generally include the inflatable floats, ducks, fish, etc., as well as the different sized pool balls. Though there are varied advantages of using such toys, the important thing is that the child is kept busy in the pool, without disturbing you from your household chores.
A universal toy that is more or less a part of everyone’s life, irrespective of the age, male or female is the stuffed animals. In fact, it is one of the most common valentine gifts given amongst spouses – especially the stuffed teddy bears wearing a heart.
The stuffed animals are also used by infants when they sleep, as the warmth of these toys fills them with a sense of security, especially when they begin to sleep alone, away from their mother. These toys are generally carried around by toddlers and infants, and in fact are regarded as their best friend. Many toddlers are known to have imaginary conversations with their stuffed animals, thereby expressing all that they feel, fearlessly.
Stuffed animals are also used as a punching bag for hyperactive children who are always on the look out for ways to vent their anger and frustration. It in fact teaches them how to vent anger in a healthy manner without causing harm or destruction to another person.
Swimming pool toys
A young child has a number of fears that have to be un-learnt, as claimed by a number of psychologists, counsellors and educationalists. The source of their fears is the lack of knowledge when put into a new situation. This basically means that children essentially fear something new, especially something that takes them away from the comforts of where they belong.
In fact one of the biggest fears every child has is that of water. This is because when first put into a pool, no matter what the depth maybe, they feel like they have no control and are grappling to keep their head above water. However, to make them enjoy even their first experience, you must use swimming pool toys.
The swimming pool toys include colourful floats, rubber and plastic toys, as well as the inflatable ball. These actually make the swimming experience fun-filled, and more than anything it completely eradicates the fear of water, encouraging them to slowly and steadily graduate from a baby pool to the larger one.
The fact is that not everyone is fortunate enough to have a special room dedicated to the child or children, and so it becomes imperative to stock the toys somewhere, as they cannot be left strewn around, creating a menace. This is where the toy chest comes in.
This is an aesthetic preference over the cardboard boxes that have an almost negligible life span in comparison to the toy chest that are either carved from wood or metal. The cardboard boxes would begin to rip in almost no time with the child constantly opening it and closing it.
The toy chest is generally a fancy one, which can be kept under lock and key. This is an important aspect, considering there are times when disciplinary measures have to be taken, and keeping the key away can help one to teach a child a few essential lessons, which otherwise the child may refuse to learn.
The poodle is popularly kept as a pet in most homes in west because of the fact that it can be aesthetically done up, according to the whims and fancies of the owner. In fact the poodle breed of dogs is considered more as a fun-object, rather than a pet.
Unfortunately, this breed cannot be reared in a country like India, though there are many people who do import it from abroad, simply because the warm season here is not conducive for this curly-furred animal. But then to make up for it, one can possess a toy poodle.
Dog lovers would probably put it up on their mantle-piece, whereas young girls derive much pleasure out of decorating it with ribbons and taking it for a walk. The toy poodle in a way teaches girls the importance of grooming and through practise they even master the method of tying a bow. It may sound strange, but it is true, when a girl owns a toy poodle she experiences a sense of sophistication and feels the need to be woman-like.
Adult or child, toy trains have been a tool of learning, pleasure, leisure and entertainment. These miniature train models are manufactured with movable wheels, and in the last couple of decades, toy manufacturers have created the automatic ones that function on electricity or are battery-operated.
Children enjoy toy trains and other automobiles, because of the movement. Some toy train manufacturers create slightly larger models that could be dragged around, while the toddler walks. In fact, such toys are known to encourage toddlers to practice walking and running, there by perfecting their footsteps.
In the case of adults, toy trains play a more significant role in the case of those involved in the railway development industry, as well as those who have a passion for developing their own miniature railway system at home. In the case of the former, the railway architects, engineers and constructors require a miniature railway system that represents the larger one that they are creating across the city, or country. This gives them a solid grounding, helping them to be assured that they are not out of sync with the blueprint of the route determined.
Wooden toys are among the oldest types of toys that are still popularly manufactured even today. In fact, prior to the invention of plastic toys and those made from other material, there were wooden toys and cloth or what are known as rag dolls. There in fact has been a separate industry dedicated to the development of toys carved from wood.
No doubt, in the days gone by there was a limitation in the number of toys, not because of a lack of creativity, but more so because of the conservatism that existed as far as children’s education was concerned. The educationalists of the times gone by believed that a child learns best under extremely strict disciplinary methods, which in no way inculcated the use of toys.
In fact, toys were limited to the very young, or rather to the toddlers. Once a child entered school, that was more or less the end of their toy days – as only toy weekends remained. So, with a limited market, the wood carvers continued to make toys, until things began to change and toys in general became an essential part of the growing up stage.
While the rugged Indian trucks that ply through the country may not be replicated into a toy truck for children, there are the sophisticated western models that are available almost at every toy store. The toy truck is mainly considered as a boy-toy, in the sense, like they say girls love dolls and boys are obsessed by the automobiles. However, there are the toddler ones that are enjoyed by boys and girls alike.
The most popular type of toy truck is the one in which the child, or rather the toddler can place their things and pull it along. It is in fact, one way of teaching the young one the need and ways of maintaining cleanliness. How? Well, after playing the parent or teacher can have the child pack their toys onto the truck and then guide them to tug it to wear it needs to be placed. This way, teaching them how to tidy up after playing becomes a fun activity.
Apart from those for toddlers, there are the dinky ones that are collected by children and adults. These miniatures are more a part of a hobby activity, then really being a toy to play with, unless there are two or more children playing together.
toy manufacturers in India
Toy stores in a city, country, district, area, or whatever residential space is as important, or compulsory as having a school. The stage from infancy to later childhood is incomplete and unhealthy if the child is not given toys to play with. Whether, the old-authoritarian parents or educationalists wish to accept it or not, the fact remains that toys is an essential part of a young one’s educational process.
It is essential for toy stores to stock up educational toys and games, apart from the fast selling colourful dolls and stuffed animals. In fact, it is upto the storekeeper to bring to the children of the area the latest in learning toys.
All India Toy Manufacturers Association – AITMA: 4, Meher Bldg., 2nd Flr., 1st Dadyseth Lane, Chowpatty Bandstand. Tel: 3694040; Fax:3694040
The Toy Association of India: 276, Anarkali Complex, Jhandewalan Extension, Delhi. Tel: 91-11-51540977
Tripple Ess Toys Private Limited: B-55, Sector-5, Noida,Uttar Pradesh. Tel: 91-120-2421741/2421742; Fax: 91-120-4338176
Nippon Toys Industries Plot No. 31, Gali No. 2, Lalita Block, Shastri Nagar, New Delhi. Tel: 91-11-23644885
Micado Udyog B-437, St-5, Majlis Park, Azadpur, Delhi. Tel: 91-11-27671550; Fax: 91-11-27681778
Prasid Toys Private Limited: B-36, Kirti Nagar, New Delhi. Tel: 91-11-25410711; Fax: 91-11-25454085
Afterskool Toys and Games Private Limited: 10, Lord Sinha Road, Kolkatta. Tel: 91-33-22827989; Fax: 91-33-22211193
Arhant Gift and Toys: 68/11, Krishna Block, 1st Main, Opposite Indian Ban, Sheshadpuram, Bangalore, Karnataka.
Clown Town: 2057, Main Gurudwara Road, Karol Bagh, New Delhi. Tel: 91-11-25862545-46; Fax: 91-11-25864546
Uni Tech: 10th Main, Kala Nagar, Kammagondanahalli, Jajahalli West, Bangalore, Karnataka. Tel: 91-80-28388831; Fax: 91-80-28380983