A great investment in your child’s development, Rokenbok is where fun and education overlap; one continuous system, extraordinary quality built for years of play, and fun for kids, parents, and grandparents alike. It’s not just playtime. Rokenbok is playtime well spent.

Parents

Educational toys from Rokenbok for your child's future ... kid photo.How do you know a good educational toy when you see one? Phonics toys, flash cards, math games, educational videos and software. . . so many toys are packaged as educational, but what should you know to help you choose what’s most appropriate for your child?  One way experts teach us to think about educational toys is: do they promote convergent and/or divergent thinking?

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Construction toys are among the best educational toys because they promote convergent and divergent thinking.

Convergent Thinking
Rokenbok learning toys teach convergent thinking similar to a puzzle - and more!

Convergent Thinking

This is the ability to learn facts, follow instructions, and come to a correct answer.

This type of thinking is fundamental to a child’s education, especially because these days so many educational opportunities are tied to performing well on standardized and multiple-choice tests. Toys that promote convergent thinking lead children to deduce a single correct solution. A jigsaw puzzle only goes together one way; each math flash card has a single correct answer; the right color for a pink pig will always be pink in a preschooler’s educational video.

Divergent Thinking
Rokenbok educational building sets teach divergent thinking - and more!

Divergent Thinking

This is the thought process that explores many possible solutions, creates new ideas, and solves conceptual problems.

Divergent thinkers are often designers, engineers, managers and leaders of all types, and generally are good at thinking outside of the box. Many educators argue that all children need a strong foundation in divergent thinking as well as convergent thinking. Toys that promote this kind of learning are craft and arts kits, toys that teach scientific and music concepts, and even role playing and costumes that encourage children to imagine and socialize in creative ways.

Combining the Two
Rokenbok toys educational combine convergent and divergent thinking.

Convergent + Divergent = Optimum Learning

Good construction toys promote convergent thinking while simultaneously setting the stage for creative, divergent play.

Children follow instructions to build the model on the box. Meanwhile, they are gaining skill with the construction pieces. Completing the instructions (convergent thinking) gives them a sense of achievement and reinforces confidence. Often, this experience leads them to want to build their own ideas (divergent thinking) with the same building pieces they just finished using!

You’ve probably experienced that sense of pride and joy children feel when accomplishing a challenging convergent task, like completing a puzzle or LEGO model. Good construction toys harness that emotional energy and move kids right into divergent play. Of course, much of what’s available today are just ordinary toys masquerading as a construction toy - if the product you are looking at cannot be easily reconfigured by a child to build their own ideas, it’s probably not a very good construction toy for teaching divergent skills.

Low Floor, High Ceiling
Rokenbok educational toys teach have a low floor and a high ceiling.

Low Floor, High Ceiling

The best educational toys offer children both a “low floor” and a “high ceiling.”

Seymour Papert, a renowned MIT professor and a seminal figure in the field of technology and education, set out on a mission years ago to determine a child’s optimum creative environment. He ultimately concluded that a toy presents the ideal creative environment when it offers what he calls a “low floor” and a “high ceiling.” A toy that possesses a low floor allows a child to play without needing a lot of advance experience or knowledge. Building blocks provide a wonderful example. Even toddlers with pudgy fingers can stack blocks and knock them down. An ideal toys also possess a “high ceiling.” As a child ages, the toy grows with them and provides tougher challenges, and that’s just what a good construction toy does best!

Future Leaders

Future leaders get their start on the family room floor

...Exploring and building their own ideas. And, often, there is a parent playing righ