Parents and teachers all know and admit the importance of toys in a child development. In this digital era where even toddlers know how to use digital devices, it becomes challenging to get children’s attention with simple toys. Now toys need to be not only educational, but also eye-catching, interesting and interactive. When we think about what our children do with their time, we often forget that they use many skills while playing. Learning how to share, take turns, and cooperate are examples of developmental skills children learn from playtime. In this article, you’ll find more information on how toys can help your child develop these essential skills!
Benefits of Toys in Children’s Development
Toys can significantly influence children’s development in their environment. This is especially true in the early stages of life, where they are constantly exploring their surroundings and mastering skills like walking, talking, and crawling. Toys are essential to this development helping kids hone critical skills while just having fun!
Toys contribute to healthy development in several ways. They can help your child to develop physically through motor skills. When a baby is developing their primary reflexes, they put everything in their mouth! Parents may think this behavior of putting toys and fingers in the mouth will lead to tooth decay, but it helps them learn new skills while also promoting healthy teeth growth.
Along with physical development, there are many other benefits of toys.
Toys can also play an essential role in the intellectual development of children. They can stimulate your child’s mind, helping them learn new things and developing their problem-solving skills.
Toys can also support social development. They help children express themselves both through play and verbal communication. Toys that allow imagination, such as dolls or action figures, help kids develop social interactions with others while playing together.
Lastly, toys can help with emotional development. Toys can provide a sense of security for your child, especially transitional objects. These are toys that they carry around everywhere and feel safe when holding them-like a blanket or soft stuffed animal. This helps to develop their resilience, self-esteem, and overall well-being.
There are many benefits to using toys in child development. Toys will help them learn new things while also having fun, so they stay engaged!
Smart Toys for Every Age
Through buying children right toys at different ages we can stimulate independent learning and help to develop cognitive skills. There are toys for every age-some that will help your baby develop their physical motor skills while others stimulate the mind of an older child with puzzles and games. Here are some examples:
Babies (0 -12 months)
Babies need a lot of sensory stimulation to develop their senses when they’re first born. Soft toys and rattles are great for this! Rattles can help them hone in on sound and vision while also strengthening the muscles in their hands by grabbing onto soft plush objects like stuffed animals. In addition, textured balls, vinyl and board books and squeeze toys are also helpful in sensory stimulation. At this age children need to touch more things with different surfaces.
As they grow, babies also need to learn how to stand and walk. Baby walkers and push-and-pull toys are an excellent way for them to practice these skills as well as develop their balance.
Toddlers (12 months – 36 months)
When they’re toddlers, it’s crucial to foster creativity and imagination. A great toy for this age is a doll or stuffed animal that they can imagine feeding, changing diapers on, and playing with all day long! They also love toys like blocks (especially when stacking them), puzzles, play kitchens, doctor’s kit and ride-on cars.
Also, during this period children have to use their fingers more, which in turn helps to develop their speech. Good toys for that are creating and building things like construction sets, transportation toys, and dolls with accessories.
As your toddler gets older, they’ll be able to play with more intricate toys like painting easels and sand tables. The key is finding a balance between educational activities (like puzzles) and free imaginative play where they can explore independently without help from adults!
Preschoolers (36 months – 5 years)
Preschoolers are learning to communicate more and play with others. A great toy for this age is an art easel because it allows them to express themselves creatively while also experimenting on their own (which boosts self-esteem!). Chalkboard with colorful chalks, modeling clay and playdough are good to improve creativity and imagination.
To prepare for school children need things that can stimulate problem-solving skills. Puzzles with 20 and more pieces, toy collections and others small objects to sort out by size, shape and color are examples of these kinds of toys.
School-aged kids (5 years – 12 years)
When they’re in kindergarten through second grade, kids learn the importance of math and science. A great toy for this age is a building set or robot because it allows them to be creative and learn how things work through trial and error. Moreover, if a child has an access to computer with interactive software and apps, it helps to control things and explore variety of concepts.
School-aged kids also by that may have their interests and formed hobbies. If they have interest modeling tools, large paper with paintbrushes or musical instruments can be an excellent choice to keep them busy and sharpen their skills.
Toys are essential to the overall development of children. They can help them develop physically through motor skills, mentally with puzzles and games, socially by interacting with others playing together, and emotionally through a sense of security provided from transitional objects. Parents should be aware of how these toys contribute to the child development while also ensuring they have fun!