Most people can’t remember what they had for dinner yesterday, but they can surely remember some of the favourite toys they had as a kid. That’s because your toys play a big part in your learning experiences while growing up.
Take a slinky for example; it looks like an average toy that’s fun to juggle back and forth between your hands, nothing special, right? Wrong. This one little average toy can help a child develop an understanding of scientific concepts like gravity. It can also:
- Encourage active play and movement
- Promote social skills like taking turns and sharing when playing with others
- Encourage focus on trial and error experimentation
- Introduce kids to balancing skills
- And more
Another good example is an ordinary fishing game that can be played in a bathtub or in a swimming pool, alone or with others. Playing alone promotes many cognitive skills by itself, yet playing with others helps develop those same skills along with even more essential skills. The following are just some of the many benefits a simple fishing game can have for a child:
- Generates curiosity
- Promotes fishing skills
- Especially encourages patience
- Encourages setting and accomplishing goals
- Develops focus, balance, concentration, and coordination
- Teaches math skills
- Emphasizes on colours
- Encourages motor skills
Fishing with others
- Promotes important social skills such as sharing and taking turns
- Encourages two types of patience: waiting patiently to hook a fish and waiting patiently for your turn
- Develops eye coordination and aiming skills
- Encourages playing to win, a “can do” attitude, and “if at first, you don’t succeed, try again”
- And more
This is why it is essential that children repeatedly be given new toys to play with, or rather, “to learn with” as they grow.
In addition, while it’s Good To Play toys, games, and sports with other kids your age, it’s even better when you play with your parents because kids have a natural instinct to make their parents proud and it also helps you to bond. Kids learn what it’s like to feel victory and success when they win. They also learn how to tolerate losing from games like this.
Parents should always encourage their kids to play with toys by playing along with them and as kids grow it is important for parents to provide them with higher skilled toys for kids their age that will help them learn and develop more advanced skills.
With toys, one thing relates to another, like a domino effect, so after babies learn all they can just by shaking a rattle, they will want to know what it’s like to bang on a drum, which will help them to develop even more cognitive skills. Then later, they will move on to hitting a ball with a bat, and who knows, they may just become the next, “Babe Ruth” and it was all due to the toys they played with while growing up that you as a parent supplied them with.
Kids can get even more out of educational toys as they can aid in developing cognitive skills as well as teach them what the toy was specifically designed to teach them. For example, if you were to get your child a toy clock, not only would it help them develop thinking skills, memory skills, and more, but it would also help them learn how to tell time as well.