Bilingual Educational Toys Hit U.S. Market
Alpharetta, Ga.-based Smart Play, LLC has launched Ingenio, the first entirely bilingual brand of educational toys and games in the United States. The product line features 10 portable, affordable toys and games that teach a comprehensive range of early learning skills in English and Spanish — fine motor, reading, writing, math, vocabulary, geography and problem solving. Ingenio’s bilingual product line ranges from electronic learning toys and puzzles to educational games. All products emphasize English and Spanish equally to enable the child to learn a second language easily. The light-weight, travel-friendly products offer children dynamic, “unplugged” playtime, free from the chain-and-drain of a computer or television.
Unlocking a world of opportunities, Ingenio helps preschool and grade school children (ages 3-8 years) learn both languages in the context of fun. Smart Play’s products are bilingual by design(TM) to facilitate learning at an early age, which research indicates is the prime time for language acquisition. The proven benefits of bilingualism include greater cognitive flexibility, improved powers of concept formation and enhanced creativity.
Spanish is the second-most prominent language in the country, and nearly 25% of all U.S. children between the ages of 3 and 6 are of Hispanic origin (a number that is quickly on the rise). This makes Ingenio an ingenious tool to form future leaders. “Finally, a foreign-language educational toy company!” said Liza Sanchez, founder of Escuela Bilingüe Internacional, in response to Ingenio. “As a parent, I am thrilled to finally be able to provide toys that represent our home language. As a teacher, I have been looking for years for products that can help my young students advance their Spanish education both in and outside of the classroom. The cognitive and social benefits of becoming bilingual have made many parents realize the importance of learning a second language.”
In addition to recognition from educational leaders, Ingenio has already garnered accolades from the toy industry. Ingenio recently received the 2009 Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Product and Creative Child Magazine 2009 Top Toy of the Year. Not only is Ingenio innovative and educational but also budget-friendly. Eight of the 10 products are less than $15, and all products are available at Amazon.com and will soon be available at ToysRUs.com.