Toys That Teach: Examples Of “Basic Life Skill Toys” You Probably Played With As A Kid

All toys teach. That is their purpose. Even if a toy does not appear to have any intrinsic educational value, there is still something to be learned from it (e.g., sharing it with others). However, there are several toys that teach children basic life skills. These basic life skills toys taught you, your parents and even your grandparents how to tie laces, lace up a shoe (or corset!), button buttons, zip zippers, snap snaps and unlock locks. Here are a few of these toys that have been around a really long time and will probably be the same ones your children learn basic life skills from too.

Dressy Bessy and Dapper Dan Dolls

Playschool may have cornered the market on developing "Dressy Bessy" and "Dapper Dan" dolls over sixty years ago, but the company took the ideas from dolls made by mothers for their daughters long before that. These two dolls have had some revisions over the years, but they still teach little ones how to lace and tie shoes, zip zippers, button buttons, and snap snaps. Newer versions also teach buckling buckles and securing Velcro straps, all skills children and adults need to get dressed.

Work Benches

Work benches that include:

  • Hammers
  • Play saws
  • Pretend or real screw drivers
  • Places on the work bench where you can saw something in half, screw in plastic screws and hammer in plastic nails

are also life skills toys. Primates (i.e., humans, monkeys and apes) are categorized by their use of tools. Children are only doing what comes naturally to them by playing with and learning from tools. By learning how to use these tools, children learn how to fix things that are broken and learn that broken things can be fixed.

Toys with Locks

Houdini undoubtedly had at least one toy with locks on it as a kid. Whether several different kinds of door locks are mounted to a wooden puzzle board (which would have been something Houdini played with), or individual locks decorate other toys, kids learn how to work them. This teaches them that there are many different locking mechanisms to secure a door, a cupboard, etc., and all are unlockable. Learning how to work locks helps keep kids safe from dangers lurking outside the door as well as help them escape dangers inside a house or apartment (e.g., intruders or fire). This is especially useful if you live in an apartment with five different locks on the door.

For more information, contact suppliers like Special Needs Toys Online.