My son looks so happy right now. He is busy moving little colorful beads along
equally colorful wires on a big wooden play cube.
The bead toy has wires going every which way, around and
through a complex maze. This toy has
captured his attention easily, and he has spent several minutes moving beads
from one end to the other.
Have you have noticed that doctors' offices often have these
in their waiting rooms? Other than
being easy to clean, there may be a reason for this being a popular waiting room
The bead maze toy although simply in concept teaches your
toddler many important skills. By being
able to hold the bead and maneuver it along the wire, he is learning eye-hand
coordination, fine motor development, and cause and effect. Trying to figure out which wire the bead will
follow and where it will end up requires complex problem solving. By identifying the beads themselves, he is
learning about colors and shapes.
There are very simple mazes with only one or two wires which are
designed for infants. With these, your
baby can start to use to develop visual and tactile (touch) sense. The bead mazes then increase in complexity to
ones that challenge even four to five year olds. Multiple wires, paths, and shapes add
difficulty to the toys.
Similar toys that involve moving objects to achieve an end
goal, such as spinning a wheel to move little marbles through a maze, are also
good for helping children learn problem solving while developing fine motor
Look for toys that are safe for your child's age and that do
not contain pieces that are too small that can come loose and pose a choking
hazard. Beads and marbles should be
firmly attached or enclosed so that they cannot come free and be put in to the