One of the most useful and truly beneficial toys for older babies, toddlers, and preschoolers is stacking toys. For most of us, these playthings look nothing more than a series of rings in progressively increasing sizes being stacked one on top of the other through a rod in the center. It’s like putting doughnuts through a stick. But for kids, the benefits can be truly immense especially if the stacking ring toy that mom or dad will be buying is one of the 10 awesome stacking toys in 2017 we have prepared for you in this post.
How We Chose the Best Stacking Toys for Young Kids in Our List
When we embarked on this endeavor, we were quite at a loss as to what parameter to consider in our selection process. Given the fact that these types of playthings don’t really offer much of a differentiating value to begin with further complicates the selection process. Honestly, stacking toys are some of the simplest playthings you can every get. You only have a set of rings plus a rod in the middle to insert the rings through. So, how complicated can it be? That’s when we decided to look at how the different products have fared in the market using the consumer satisfaction metrics. We knew that most of you will also do the same thing. As such, we pegged our cutoff score at 4.4 so that any product that fails to meet this score automatically was stricken off the list of 10 awesome stacking toys in 2017.
Once we had all the products that met this particular criterion, we then proceeded to determining just what the product has that people find really interesting. We looked at the various features that have been built into the design of the toy. Of particular significance was the developmental appropriateness of these features to the age group upon which the toy is intended for. Since majority of the users of these types of playthings are babies, we looked for other features that could very well help in the sensory development of very young children. If the toy was primarily intended for toddlers, then we also looked for characteristics that are appropriate for toddlers.
Safety is another area that we had to concern ourselves of. Some products required the use of batteries and as such it was imperative for us to ascertain electrical safety. The materials used in the construction or manufacture of the product were also evaluated. Most of these are made of plastic. It is crucial to ascertain that these do not contain physiologically harmful substances such as phthalates, PVC, or even BPA. This is especially true if the child who is going to play with it still has the tendency to put everything held by his or her hands straight into the mouth.
Lastly, the company’s reputation was factored into the equation to give you an overall sense of product quality. Moreover, reputable companies can provide guarantees to their products.
Benefits of Stacking Toys for Kids
There are experts who say that stacking toys and mathematicians are an inseparable duo. While not everyone will agree to such a statement, there is agreement that these types of toys can really be beneficial to young kids especially in terms of their sensorimotor development, their beginning ability for abstractions, and even the laying of the foundation for their language development. Stacking, stringing, and sorting are important for toddler development, too, as these have been shown to help in the development of his or her cognitive abilities. In fact, stacking toys and blocks have developmental benefits throughout the different stages of a child’s life, making them truly one of the most versatile playthings we can ever provide for our kids. Here are some of the benefits of stacking toys for kids.
- Develops the fine motor skills of babies – Holding and stacking the different pieces require control of the different muscle groups that make up the hands. This lays the groundwork for the refinement of their motor skills which will enable them to hold writing instruments and other objects with relative ease.
- Improves the spatial and visual perception of kids – When kids stack or nest an object, they have to coordinate the cues provided by their vision and integrate these with the information obtained from their understanding of space so that their motor movements will be so precise that they can easily stack one object over another. All of these neural processes occur in a flash. Getting children play with stackers can help speed up these neural processes, paving the way for more complex cognitive processes.
- Helps stabilize the core muscles – Babies who are already able to sit up while playing stackers are able to strengthen and stabilize their core muscles. This is a fundamental requirement for learning how to stand up and walk.
- Aids in language development – Many of us equate language development with a kid’s ability to talk. However, vocabulary also helps with language development as it gives the necessary tools for children to communicate something. Without words, messages would be more difficult to convey and to decipher.
- Encourages creative play – There are certain stackers that are designed specifically for open-ended play. These can help enhance the creative play of children as they can literally do anything with the stacking toys.
The Bottom Line
Stacking, nesting, and sorting toys are important kinds of toys especially among babies and toddlers as these provide the necessary foundation for their sensorimotor development and early problem solving skills. These 10 awesome stacking toys in 2017 will help you in ensuring the optimum development of your tots.