What’s the importance of toys in child development ?
Toys play a very vital role in our lives. If you recall in your early upbringing, there is that toy that you loved so much and everyone in the house knew about it. At that stage, you never knew how impactful that toy was in your development, but when you look back, you realize that it was more than just a toy.
The toys that kids play with influence their education and better their abilities and skills needed later on in life. Children learn the world around them by playing and toys are the instruments that help them do that. Besides teaching them different things about life, toys bring happiness and fun to kids as they play with them.
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Most of the theories of child development say that play is very important for a child. This is because it impacts motor (physical) skills, cognitive development, language development, social, and emotional development. The toys that you buy for your toddler influence particular personality traits or styles of play. For instance, kids will play aggressively if the toys that they have encourages aggression.
When kids play with toys, they test ideas, form a hypothesis, evaluate and attempt to solve them. That’s how they end up learning different things as they interact with different types of toys. Hence, ensure that you purchase the right types of toys for your newborn as they develop. A toy that is suitable for a one-year-old may not be great for a 4-year-old. Also, don’t concentrate too much on toys that have lots of features and sounds, but as well pay attention to toys that need some creativity so that your toddler can think on their own and come up with solutions.
In this post, we’ve set out different benefits and the importance of toys in child development that your kid stands to gain when they play with different types of toys. In addition, we’ve gone ahead to elaborate on which toys are best for what age. Don’t assume that all toys are the same for all kids. Preparing your kid for school is important and toys can help you do that.
How toys benefit your child’s development & importance of toys in child development
Some parents buy toys for their kids so that they can keep them from going out or disturbing them. But this shouldn’t be the case. Toys are extremely beneficial and benefit our children in different ways as they grow up. Below are some of the gains of toys to our beloved kids.
- Learn motor skills
One of the important things that toys help your kid with is developing motor skills. This includes both fine and gross motor skills. Toys get kids engaged in physical activity. Activities like colouring, dressing, and holding of toys arouse the sense of sight and touch. This can be categorized as fine motor skills. While playing with toy cars and walkers boost their gross motor skills. Gross motor skills strengthen the arms and legs of toddlers.
Furthermore, toys help kids to discover balance and coordination and by being physically active, children can remain fit and focused. Toys usually motivate babies to utilize their feet and hands so as to discover colours, shapes and sounds. The moment a baby knows how to sit and crawl, toys motivate them to start walking and standing by trying to reach out to them. That’s why many baby walkers and other baby items have toys on them.
- Develop your kid’s language skills
The little sounds you make to your infant area a way of communicating with them even without your knowledge. Kids learn basic communication through the little sounds that parents make to them or by hearing the different sounds of their toys. When your child gurgles, just know that he/she is trying to communicate something to you. It can be a pleasure, excitement, discouragement or other emotions they are attempting to show.
When you sing to your child, you not only comfort them but as well teach them words. For this reason, it is vital to record songs for your baby. Alternatively, you can sing for them or tell them stories before they go to sleep. This will help them know how to communicate faster than you ever imagined.
- Develop a sense of safety or emotional well being
There is no a great feeling of knowing what your toddler wants or why they react the way they do. When a kid is born, parents do the guesswork by trying to come up with what is disturbing their young one. But when they are able to express their emotions, it becomes easier.
Toys teach kids to be creative and assist them to show their emotions in different ways. These include toys meant for cutlery, hospital, science fiction, farm, or even construction toys. The ability to create symbolical games shows a mature personality, capable of forming rules of its own. Kids see toys in a different way that adults see them. For instance, clay can be used to come up with different forms of moulds. Such toys will help children to make decisions while creating the world they play in.
- Social development
Besides improving the kid’s language and communications, toys teach social skills and provide them with an understanding of the world they live in. Toys attract kids to interact with adults and other kids their same age. They get to know how to communicate and mingle, too. When a kid interacts with another kid, they get to know the importance of cooperating, sharing toys and respecting one another. In addition to this, toys teach them how to take initiative, learn how to negotiate, and teaches them how to be well organized.
As you play with your kid and their toys, you often find yourself telling them to stop biting the toy, not to throw, and to share with other kids, and many other things. To help your kid develop their social skills, you can take them out to a playground so that they can learn how to interact with other kids. This will make them have an easy time when they start learning.
- Develops cognitive thinking
Cognitive development is very crucial as it allows kids to approach math and language skills in a manner that is fun for them. Actually, they promote kid’s cognitive development by stimulating their concentration and memory skills and provide them with the ability to tackle issues in a creative way. This is important in their future autonomy. Buy building blocks for your kid to develop cognitive thinking.
Another way to help your kid develop their cognitive thinking is by buying them toys that rattle and make noise. Also, the puzzle can be a great addition as they help them solve problems while being patient. They will also get to understand that things are done step by step and you have to think through it. If you feel that these are not enough or if you want your kids to learn diverse things, add toys with diverse colours, sounds and shapes so that they can be able to differentiate them.
What toys are best at what age?
Are you wondering which the best toy is for your 2 year old baby boy or girl? Worry no more. We understand parents normally make a mistake of just buying a lovely and feature-packed toy for their baby without considering if it’s good for them or not. The information that we’ve compiled below will help you make the right choice for your kid and help them develop faster.
Between the ages of 0 to 1
In the early years of a kid’s development, children are extremely curious, keen to learn, and aroused by almost every item that surrounds them. At this stage, sensory development is more prevalent, and as a result, toys with varying colours, shapes, tastes, textures and sounds offer a very crucial learning experience and can assist to develop each and every sense. Such toys include musical instruments, play dough, water toys, bubbles, and many others.
The different sounds and colours will assist to arouse and develop their hearing and vision, respectively. On the other hand, the sense of touch, motor skills and hand-eye coordination are supported through objects like building blocks. Such toys have as well been indicated to develop a kid’s fundamental understanding of object permanence, which is the comprehension that objects continue to exist even if they cannot be viewed, touched, heard, smelled or as well sensed.
Between the ages of 2 to 4
After the first development, it is now the second stage. This is as well really crucial and fundamental to the overall development of the kid and it is hugely associated with the physical growth of the child. But unlike the first stage, here it is a bit easier for the parent as the kid is able talk, plays, runs and does several other things on their own. This stage involves kids between the ages of 2 and 4. This means that they can play with more advanced toys unlike when they were 12 months or less.
Nevertheless, the toys that were used in the previous stage can still be useful. In the previous phase, the toys might have played a role in stimulating development and learning, but they will play a new role in this stage. One of the emphases of this stage is motor skills. It helps kid identify and name different shapes. Unlike in the previous stage, here kids are capable knowing that a toy has a shape and that they can match and observe the shape similarity with a different toy. Some of the ideal toys to buy your kid at this stage are the blocks and shape sorters, to just name but a few.
Between the ages of 4 to 10
This is the final stage of your kid before they can become fully aware and be responsible for their actions. After the age of 10, kids are fully grown and can make a judgment on their own, but still with a little guidance from you. Also, this is the period where kids start to attend school. At this moment, learning and development become complex as they start to identify and know more complex particulars like numbers, letters and languages. Also, development is more centred on creative and intellectual growth.
There is a wide range of educational toys that can assist benefit kids at this stage. These include high-tech electronic math games, simple puzzles & word challenges, and numbers and figures. In this stage, toys and play are really crucial as experimenting and experiencing different toys after school can supplement their learning that they are getting at school. Providing kids with the chance to have fun while practising the things that they are learning in school will assist to reinforce what they learn and thus will increase their retention of those things.
N/B: The toys that you buy for your kids shouldn’t be the most expensive. Also, they shouldn’t be the trendiest. All you need is educative toys that will teach your kid different skills. For instance, video games are not the best for developing your kid to be a responsible person in life. Instead, research shows that such games have promoted violence and don’t encourage socialization.
Toys play a very crucial in the importance of toys in child development of our kids. Besides keeping them busy and happy, toys prepare toddlers to face the world. Also, as you interact with your kid during playtime, you get to bond and enjoy at the same time. With such upbringing, your kid will grow with a positive attitude and be a responsible and smart person later on in life.
A mistake that most parents make is to buy kids toys that don’t suit their age or gender. Ensure that you get your kid the right toys so that they can develop the right skills at the right time. Educational toys are great for kids who are close to joining school. The right toys will help your child develop motor skills, help them express their emotions, promote their cognitive thinking, and know how to interact with other people.