Every single one of us has had a favorite toy growing up. Maybe you couldn’t sleep without your teddy bear, maybe you liked playing with dolls or maybe you couldn’t imagine your day without your plastic car. Whatever it was, to you it was probably something you loved more than anything else in the world, but do you know how it affected your growth? That is right, toys are not just toys. They are instruments that can influence a child’s education and help them learn about the world. Toys also provide joy and happiness, and therefore contribute to building self-esteem. As a parent you surely want to buy your little one a bunch of toys they can play with, but learning about the way they can affect your kid’s development can help you choose the right ones.
Toys can boost your child’s motor skills
Every time your kid plays with their toys they are working on their fine and gross motor skills. For example, when your little one is coloring, dressing their Barbie, or brushing their wacky and colorful Trolls doll, they are using their sense of touch and sight. On the other hand, riding a tricycle or using a walker is great for boosting their gross motor skills and strengthening their arms and legs. Toys can inspire kids to stay active, which is the key to preventing childhood obesity and adopting a healthy lifestyle. From the moment your child is able to sit and crawl, toys can be used to keep them active and on the move. By placing their favorite toy out of their reach, you will encourage your kid to use their muscles to grab it.
Toys are important for emotional development
Toys let your child experiment with different roles and situations through pretend play. Whether they are acting out various characters dressed up in costumes or are using their dolls, kids imagine familiar situations or invent completely new and different worlds. These worlds they enter during playtime are a safe outlet to discover feelings. This is why playing on a daily basis can support your little one’s emotional growth.
Toys lead to social development
Toys can also teach your little one about the society we live in. While your child is still very little, they will use toys to interact with you. However, as they grow, they will start playing with other kids their age. Through this play they will learn valuable lessons about respect, sharing, and cooperation. Playing with toys with their friends will help them become better organized and even improve their negotiating skills.
Toys are in charge of cognitive development
Some types of toys such as board games are incredible tools for stimulating concentration and boosting memory skills. Through play children are able to solve problems creatively and learn to evaluate, analyze, and understand cause and effect. It is important to remember that your kid’s toys should be intellectually challenging, but not too difficult.
Children are like sponges and their minds are expanding just by looking at their environment and taking in their surroundings. Kids can start benefiting from toys when they are just one month old. By playing with dolls, blocks, and other items your little one can gain many different skills they will need in their life. Toys can help develop problem-solving skills as well as teach your child about how cause and effect work. They can also nurture their creativity and imagination, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t shower your kid with toys since children find it difficult to focus in environments where there are too many things they can play with.
Nemanja is the editor in chief @ WalkJogRun.net and TheGearHunt.com. He loves marzipan and basketball. You can find him on Twitter.