Translated by Sandy Lau
Ready For Japan! Vol. 11 – Make Playtime Educational With Toys From Japan
Written by Mayu
Are you spending more time with your kids while working from home? Alleviate boredom by making playtime more educational with Japanese toys, learning tools, and puzzles! All products featured in this article are available for purchase online.
Make Playtime Fun With Japanese Toys
Many people in Japan and across the globe are working remotely from home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Employees who are homebound have noticed they are spending a lot more time with their kids. Due to nationwide school closures, however, children are likely to be bored and restless.
MATCHA has compiled a list of Japanese products that’ll help make the best of your time together during social distancing. From toys that will stimulate your child’s learning, to indoor games for kids and adults alike, the items mentioned in this article are available for purchase online.
Ages 0 – 3: Natural Toys Safe for Solo Playtime
Photo by Pixta
Among a selection of natural materials, toys made from rice are recommended for infants. In particular, Rice Toys are safe for babies who love sticking things in their mouths.
These days, modeling clay and drawing tools to cultivate children’s creativity have been sold as specialized products made with natural materials. Rice Clay and Agar Clay, crafted from agar-agar and natural pigments, are fun items in a range of colorful shades. They’re also popular for their jelly-like texture.
Vegetable Crayons are made wax extracted from rice bran oil. The pigment is added from vegetables that would typically be thrown away during the harvest. Each color is named after a vegetable which makes them great to use for studying Japanese vocabulary. Flower Crayons is a similar product that is pigmented with flowers.
Yaritai Hodai ("Do As You Like") is a product made with a child’s mischievous side in mind. It is full of gadgets that’ll make kids giggle with glee, and will capture their full attention during playtime.
Ages 4 – Lower Elementary School: Boosting Brainpower With Educational Toys
Photo by Pixta
What type of toy should you get someone over the age of four? A great option is trinkets that stimulate their critical thinking skills during playtime.
Forest Animal Building Blocks are animal-shaped blocks made from several types of Japanese wood that are easily stackable. The complicated shapes will encourage your child's imagination and cognitive development. The pleasant feel of the natural wood also sets these apart from ordinary building blocks. You can also purchase a fish-shaped version called Ocean Life for sea creature enthusiasts!
GESTAR is another excellent product. It gives children the freedom to create shapes without any restrictions by diagonally inserting blocks of the same shape in any direction. This developmental toy is ideal for fostering creativity.
Upper Elementary and Older: Building Toys That Teach Teamwork
For children in upper elementary school and older, toys that increase their concentration and spatial intelligence make great gifts.
Some examples include the 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzles, which features popular children’s characters, or the wooden Robotime 3D Puzzle that encourages kids to think for themselves. The time spent assembling these toys will help cultivate your child’s critical thinking skills.
These products are quite difficult, so why not spend time building them together? If you want a bigger challenge, try your hand at an elaborate puzzle like the Nikko Toshogu Shrine's Yomeimon Gate 3D Puzzle, modeled after the famous Toshogu Shrine in Nikko.
Cherish the Time With Your Child
For busy parents normally away at the office, working from home provides you with more quality time with your child. This is a great opportunity to watch them develop and grow.
During these unprecedented times, switch off your screens and schedule some quality playtime with your kids. The amazing products introduced in this article will ensure fun-filled hours with an educational twist.
Main image by Pixta