Why Are Developmental Toys Important?
Everyone had a favourite toy that they had when they were children – whether it was a wooden rocking horse, a fabric doll or a truck. You remember them because they gave you fond memories, but you might not realise that they also had a part in your early education and development. Here’s why you need to buy your children developmental toys every chance you get, to help them develop vital skills.
Motor skills are the synchronisation of the muscles in limbs, hands and fingers, which work in coordination of what your eyes and mind see. That means if your child sees a balloon, walking towards it is an example of their motor skills developing, and will soon help them run, jump, skip and throw or catch a ball. If they’re picking up a piece of fruit, or threading a wooden block into its corresponding hole in a toy, they’re developing their fine motor skills. When they get older, fine motor skills help your child hold a pencil and write their name, do up the buttons on their shirt, or even thread a needle.
Buying toys that spur your children to move and use their muscles is a great way to develop their motor skills. Even holding a toy just away from arms-length, making them try to grab it or move towards it is a step in the right direction. Fortunately, you can buy toys that develop these skills in your children, such as puzzles, wooden blocks, balls, and more.
Creativity And Emotions
The toys you buy for your children can help them develop imagination, creativity, and a better understanding of their emotions. You can also do this by reading them stories and making up stories of your own together. But by using dolls, costumes, and other toys that are familiar to them – like animal figurines or cars – can help them become more creative. With role-playing games, you can create scenarios that they can relate to, and make them use creative thinking to enjoy themselves. With these different scenarios and by using developmental toys as a resource, you can also teach them about different emotions that they’ve seen others feel, or that they have experienced themselves.
Although you might have a clear idea of what a toy is, children are different. For kids, anything they can play with becomes a toy – whether it’s a spoon, a set of keys, or a bookmark. By playing with these everyday items, they’re using their imagination and developing creative skills. Things that they can play with and transform with their hands, like playdough or clay, also promotes creativity, because they’re using their hands to create something that they have in their imagination.
Other than developing their language skills, toys can also teach social skills. Using toys as a resource, children learn how to interact with objects and people. First, they learn with their parents, grandparents and babysitters. By teaching them to say “thank you” when passing a toy, “sorry” when grabbing a toy out of someone’s hands, “please” when requesting a toy, and other commands, they’re not only learning new words and when to say them, they’re also learning how to navigate social interactions.
Soon, they start learning how to interact with other children, where they learn essential aspects of being around others. They learn respect, cooperation, sharing, and friendship, just by playing with others. Developmental toys also encourage them to work well with others – such as how to organise toys and be organised, how to take the initiative during play, and how to negotiate fairly.
For children who are as young as two years old and up, developmental toys also promote their cognitive development. By playing board games, they work on their concentration and memory skills. Other games will teach them how to recognise a problem and solve it creatively, which is a skill they’ll use for the rest of their lives. With improved cognitive development, they’re being nurtured and improving their language skills as they grow. Developmental toys have even shown to help children be more comfortable with approaching mathematical skills when they start going to school.
Remember, the best way for children to learn is when they’re having fun. If you have school-going children, you’ll see how much better they respond to lessons they had fun in, as opposed to those they found boring. When they’re very young, this doesn’t change. By using developmental toys, your children will be learning – without even knowing it! And the best part is, because developmental toys promote fun playtimes, they will always be learning more, progressing and developing.