Early Childhood Ed

Education Toys for Preschoolers Lincoln Logs

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"Education Toys for Preschoolers Lincoln Logs"
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Smooth, rounded, all-wood logs that are notched to fit together, these toys feel good to the touch - and are just the right size for preschoolers.

A bit about Lincoln Logs -

Lincoln logs are produced by K'NEX Brands and come in a variety of thematic sets. From Stagecoach Junction to Happy Valley Farm, exploration is just around the corner. The Lincoln's Log Cabin set - most often associated with Lincoln Logs - is offered this year in a Bicentennial Edition tin. For a quick peek at these toys, click here.

The company motto, "Imagine, Build, Play," is especially attuned to preschoolers. K'NEX promises "to provide safe, effective, innovative, and distinctive brands that truly delight the senses of sight and touch at every age ... and tickle the senses of humor and wonder. "

When your preschooler actively imagines, builds and plays, learning takes place. The following are ways Lincoln Logs contribute to a child's education:

Eye-hand coordination ~

The moment a tin or box of Lincoln Logs is opened and dumped out, your preschooler's eye-hand coordination comes into play. With a little bit of trial and error, most three-year-old children are able to fit the nubby notches on one log into a corresponding notch on another log. When that happens, it's only a matter of time before a wall, log cabin or fort is constructed.

Fine motor skills and dexterity ~

Your child's hands soon become acclimated to the size, shape and weight of these special logs. Picking logs up, twisting and turning them to fit, gripping, stacking, balancing and sometimes readjusting them so they don't topple. All of these actions use muscles in the hands and fingers. The more your child plays, the more she develops the muscles that will one day be involved with handwriting.

Free-style, imaginative playtime ~

When children are given the time and opportunity to play free-style (no prescribed expectations or instructions), their imaginations wake up. Parents who give Lincoln Logs give more than the gift itself. They give their child an opportunity to daydream, scheme and design to their heart's desire.

This is important from an educational standpoint. When creativity is stifled, there is less incentive to perform independently or show interest in the arts. Allowing children to "think up ideas on their own" builds confidence and a desire to think outside the box. These are both important character traits for inventors, entrepreneurs and leaders.

Concentration and reasoning ~

Playing with toys that have many parts and many ways to use those parts can help develop concentration and reasoning. When your child builds with Lincoln Logs, he is actively using the skills of estimation, sorting, counting and problem-solving.

How many logs will it take to make the wall high enough to shelter a toy horse? Which logs and accessories work best for a fort? How many pieces are left in the box, and will they be enough to complete the project? If not, how can the project be revised? These skills are useful while playing with Lincoln Logs. They also come in handy with problem solving in higher education.

Your preschooler won't look at Lincoln Logs as educational toys. She'll look at them as smooth, all-wood logs that stack nicely, build great log houses and provide hours of fun. Whether you buy a starter set or splurge for the largest kit K'NEX makes, you've made a good investment.

As the company advertises ... "We believe our product is capable of enriching the lives of those who use it, both through pure enjoyment and through its educational impact." What parent could wish for more?

More about this author: Nan Keltie

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