Playtime is an extremely important part of children’s lives, simply because it shapes their imagination and creativity in the best possible way. Nowadays, with the expansion of the Internet, many children are not motivated to play face-to-face with their peers. Instead, they are chatting online and making virtual friendships because that is much easier for them. This is exactly why parents should do their best to motivate them, and offering toys that will improve their skills is the right way to do that. It is true that toys significantly influence children’s development, and now you will find out in what way.
Toys create opportunities for kids to acquire, practice, and perfect new skills. Educational toys that are age-appropriate help babies and small children develop problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to process information. For example, building blocks are amazing because they help in improving coordination and developing skills related to spatial visualization. Toys that are designed to make children repeat sounds improve their listening skills, and help them imitate those sounds. Puzzles are also very important, because they enhance children’s cognitive development through matching shapes and conceptualizing a picture as a whole.
How Are Toys Beneficial to Children?
Children love collecting things, including different kinds of toys. Bobble heads, Barbie dolls, superhero figurines, racing cars, stickers – it all depends on kids’ preferences. The habit of collecting toys is indeed very beneficial, and parents should support and motivate their children. First of all, it is important because they are learning how to be organized and neat, as well as how to keep their collectibles in a safe place. Kids need to take care of their toys when playing is over, and this is exactly when they learn how to tidy up and store them properly.
Household Items That Can Influence Child’s Development
Nowadays, there is a wide range of household items that have an important role in children’s development, even though people may not see the connection. Many of them are very interesting for kids and they attract their attention. This is very important, especially when it comes to small children, because they have a short attention span. First of all, there are magnets that most of the families have in the kitchen. I often use a tape and create a square or a triangle on the refrigerator, and let my kids move the magnets into it. Secondly, there is a wide range of kids’ rugs that are useful indeed. Some of them have a huge world map all over it, others have numbers or letters of the alphabet – it really doesn’t matter, as long as children are learning. Kids’ floor rugs are indeed very important, because they enhance children’s imagination and creativity. Thirdly, children love alphabet pasta, simply because letters are no longer abstract to them. In this way, they can touch them for real. These are particularly useful in the process of learning new words – especially if a child has problems with spelling. This way of ‘writing’ words is much more efficient than using a pen and a piece of paper.
It is true that toy companies exploit gender stereotypes, unfortunately. This is bad for children, because they are pressured to fit in accordingly, which means that each gender has its own colors, clothes, personality traits and even careers that need to be respected. Otherwise, they can easily become a target of bullying, wanting to isolate from the society and its norms. Critics say that dolls and dolls prams and cookery sets are being channeled towards girls, while construction kits and racing cars towards boys. One study has shown that feminine toys encourage an attractive physical appearance more than masculine ones. On the other hand, masculine toys are rated as more violent and exciting than feminine ones. What is very interesting, neutral toys, such as Lego blocks, are considered to develop spatial and intellectual skills.
At the end of the day, it is important that parents optimize their children’s development. The truth is that they may miss out advantages that are offered by the toys meant for the opposite gender. Encouraging children to play with a wide range of toys is a key to success, as well as limiting the exposure to stereotypes.