Toys have been important to children across centuries and in every culture on earth. Children play as they grow up, and they enjoy different ways of playing. But there is not just pointless fun happening when your children are happily playing with their favorite toys.
Toys can have an impact on how a child plays and develops, but are they just for fun or can they also be important? In this piece we will look at why toys can be very important and some of the things you will need to take into account as a parent when it comes to the toys your children play with.
When children play they develop a large different set of skills, ranging from physical (like hand eye coordination), intellectual (solving a problem), social (how to share and cooperate) and creativity (imagining new games with the same toys).
Just because they are having fun (or causing a storm of chaos around them) does not mean that they are not actively learning and adapting to the world around them.
Toys for development
Toys are important because they are additional tools in the set of developmental helpers during your child’s early years. If that is a bit of a mouthful think of it like this, toys help your child to develop certain skills more quickly and more effectively. They can help with the development of an astounding amount of different skills.
Some toys are important because they will help your child to socialize well. When children play with toys together, they learn how to share and build relationships. They learn how to handle conflict and how to react appropriately when they don’t feel like sharing or playing in a way that the other children want to.
Some toys can encourage cooperation and negotiation. Even if your child is still very young playing with a toy together between parent and child can start to develop this type of skill, other toys for older children are based on games and can help your child understand when rules are to be followed or how to act when they lose (or win).
Other toys can be very beneficial for the development of essential motor (physical) skills. Fine motor skills can be developed by toys that encourage your child to engage with it in ways that require them to carefully use their hands.
Buttons, levers, switches and so on all encourage these types of skills. Even books can help develop fien motor skills when your child simply turn the page. Larger muscle groups can be developed at the same time as social skills when your child kicks or throws a ball to a friend. A pretend horse can also develop imagination and larger motor skills at the same time.
Some toys encourage your child’s imagination and creativity, this can range from very specific toys that create a setting where your child can pretend to be a knight or a dragon or a princess, to simple toys that they can manipulate in many different ways. It can also include basic things like crayons or paints. These art supplies are essential in the development of creativity and planning, even problem solving.
Toys for different stages
As your child grows, different toys will be important. A baby will enjoy a rattle and learn that movement and sound are linked, this is an important intellectual step linked to realizing cause and effect. (A teenager might have some problems with this again, but that is a whole different event).
Games and toys can become more complex and challenging. Puzzles are a good choice when it comes to toys because it develops spatial awareness and problem solving skills. Even chess can be a good introduction when your child is interest at around their first years of school, because it has been proven to develop logic and problem solving skills.
Age appropriate toys are really valuable when it comes to raising a healthy child. Toys should be safe, but also engaging and present a bit of a challenge. This will help your child to constantly develop and improve different social, intellectual and motor skills.
All types of toys are important to the development of your child’s skill set. A toy that may not seem to be very educational can have a real impact, a favorite stuffed toy can provide a sense of emotional stability or crayons can be a great creative outlet, but also a way for a child to deal with abstract thought or emotions that they find difficult to express. Perhaps they will even find a lifelong passion or a career in the arts.
Toys can be very important for your child’s education, but of course toys are also fun, and what parent wouldn’t want their child to enjoy their childhood. Paying with a favorite toy, or discovering a new way of playing all forms part of the way children experiment with the world and if this is a fun experience they will be encouraged and build confidence about the ways they see the world and interact with it.
Children are naturals at exploration and experimentation and if they can do that while having a great time, all the better. If children can engage with toys when they are young, they might find something that can continue to be a source of joy through much of their life. Or at the very least playing with toys they enjoy when they are children will leave them with very pleasant memories when they look back as adults.
Toys are important for many reasons. In this piece we covered some of the major points related to why toys should form part of the way your child develops certain skills. First and foremost they are fun and will keep your child engaged and happy.
But furthermore they are important additions and tools in the way your child will develop important skills in their life, and can help to develop everything from fine motor skills to complex cognitive abilities.