Walk into any departmental store or a toy shop and one is confronted with mind bogging array of toys for children of all ages. It can get quite confusing especially when the idea is to get a toy that will provide entertainment as well as stimulate the child's brain. Today all toy shops are concentrating on Educational Toys and quite a huge selection of toys that just do this!

Building blocks are among the favourites for toddlers. The colours and shapes will attract the child to spend hours trying out different creative designs and shapes. Jigsaw puzzles are another interesting toy for children. Depending upon the age one can pick up simple ones or some very complicated puzzles for older children. Irrespective of the age group the child gets absorbed in the intricacy of the puzzle and never want to give up until the puzzle is solved.

Boys usually lean towards things mechanical. For the very young there are mechanic sets. There are fine building sets for cars, aero planes and ships which inculcate practical engineering skills. Some of the mechanical assembly sets for the bigger children are quite complicated and could become the start of a life time hobby.

Scrabble is one great game that can be enjoyed by children of almost any age group. The added thrill being that, Mum and Dad can also be included when they can afford the time. The same could be said of chess. A terrific game, which could become an addiction. These games teach the child to concentrate and to focus its thinking by becoming oblivious of the surroundings.

It is the age of computers and one way or the other children spend quite some time with the machine. The world of knowledge has been delivered at the finger tips, all the child needs to learn is to start up and connect on to the internet. There is almost nothing one cannot search and find on the net, it is indeed a boon if the child knows how to use it. Children get to use the computer for their school assignments, mailing their friends, chatting, or just surfing the net. How about computer games? There are quite a few that are entertaining and educative.

Is the child artistic? One way to find out will be to gift him or her a book to colour along with some paints or water colours depending upon the age of the child and then watch his or her creativity take off. !May be a musical instrument would be a dream gift after all every one enjoys one form of music or the other.

It is important to know the tastes of the child. This makes the selection of the toy much easier. Equally important in the case of small children are the safety aspects. Most toys of reputed brands give their recommendations and where necessary warnings too. It is prudent to check the safety aspect before making the purchase.

The purpose of educational toys being to entertain and to educate, it is important that the parents should spend some time in selecting the right toys bearing in mind the aptitude of the child. For it is aptitude that decides the child's likes and dislikes.

Finally, but most importantly it would be wise to consider your child's interests and preferences when choosing a toy. Childhood pursuits develop into something more serious in later years. It is often been said that the child is the father of man, so a happy child makes a happy man!