Educational toys help enrich children’s academic development as well as their muscle development. My four year old daughter has always been fascinated with toys that had screws and drills. I liked that toys with wrenches and screws required spatial visualization ability and fine motor skills, but before now, I didn’t have the chance to try them. Because last year I used to teach preschool, now I continued to analyze the best educational products for preschoolers. Currently, my daughter studied for preschool at home. As a homeschooling mom, I needed to stay up to date with the latest trends in kids’ educational products to help prepare my daughter for kindergarten. When the company Educational Insights sent me the Design & Drill Socket To Me product to review, my daughter grinned because she had always wanted a drill toy.
Review of the Drill Toy
As I examined the product, I was impressed that the product offered the right amount of difficulty to help engage without causing frustration. Turning the screwdriver required my daughter to use the muscles in her hands and arms, which she hadn’t previously used much. Because of my background of a teacher, I knew to scaffold the information. I modeled how to use the item before having my daughter work independently. Because I always have high academic expectations of my children, I liked seeing my daughter working hard to improve her fine motor skills.
Unlike many other products for kids, the drill toy required my daughter to learn a new skill to use it effectively. Using arm muscles to turn the screwdriver required strength and learning. My daughter developed a new skill and a strategy that would help her hold pencils as well as manipulate other hard to turn items. Learning to build with tools was a very valuable concept. Later, the experience with the drill toy could help kids have a more vivid imagination in art class and make more connections in math class when working with manipulatives.
Regarding the age appropriateness of the product, I noticed that the box said ages 4 and older. My eldest daughter recently turned four years old, and she was able to use the product easily after trying it out a few times. Usually I’m nervous to have products made exclusively for preschoolers and older in my home because I have a toddler who will put small items in her mouth. Initially I was nervous that the screws might be an unsafe size for my toddler to hold. I was relieved that the screws were large enough not to pose a real risk to my toddler. Obviously I didn’t leave my toddler unattended with the toy, but the size was big enough that she couldn’t quickly stuff it in her mouth without me noticing. Also, my older daughter was at the perfect age to play with the item because she was aware of how to put the screws back in the box to avoid losing critical pieces.
While examining the drill toy, I was very happy with it. My daughter enjoyed the product and learned a lot, as evidenced by her ability to manipulate the product with increasing speed and agility over the duration of her time with it. Using the drill toy inspired my daughter to sit down quietly and focus for half an hour without interruption. Usually my daughter is bouncing off the walls, begging for her parents to play with her. With the toy, my daughter enjoyed working solo so she could show off her accomplishments when she finished her work. The product offered educational benefits and was fun for kids.
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