July 11th, 2017
Toys don’t exist for the sole purpose of occupying your child. They are meant to serve as a tool to encourage learning and develop fundamental and essential skills. Because toys convey certain messages and values (especially gendered toys), it is important to choose the right ones so that the correct foundation is built early on. Here are some things to keep in mind when buying your children toys.
Choose toys that are age-appropriate
It is important to ensure that toys are age-appropriate. Toddlers enjoy physical activity and exploring the relationships between cause and effect. Recommended toys include wood puzzles, blocks, and push-pull toys. Preschoolers and kindergarteners, who have longer attention spans, like to follow and create rules. Toys that are appropriate for them include skill and strategy board games, puzzles with more pieces, and blocks for building complex structures.
Stick with simple
Noisy or fancy light-up toys may be able to attract your kid’s attention and be a good distraction for when you’re too busy to supervise their playtime. However, you should choose toys which stimulate your child’s mind on their own. For example, building blocks encourage creativity and it’s easier for them to see what they’ve created if the blocks are plain.
Another consideration is the quantity of toys your child is playing with at one time. Too many toys affect children’s attention spans, making it difficult for any one toy to make an impact in the long-run.
Choose toys which focus on skill development
Building blocks encourage the development of strength in children’s core trunk, shoulder, and arm muscles. These muscles will support better handwriting and even paying attention in class. Additionally, the more they build, the more they will understand about the forces of gravity and structural integrity.
Playtime can also be utilised to help children build joint attention skills, when they are playing with friends, siblings, or adults. Research has demonstrated that two important skills in joint attention are following eye gaze and identifying intention. Joint attention is important for many aspects of language development including comprehension, production, and word learning.
Educational toys can help children build and relate to concepts in nature and give them a head-start on academical concepts and topics. Because they are quick to learn at such a young age, you should take advantage of this time and invest in toys which encourage critical thinking or problem solving.
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