Every parent knows that their children’s proper development is their #1 priority. But did you know how they play is significant for their development? There’s a reason why Montessori wooden toys and other accessories are in such high demand, after all.
Even while they’re infants, children discover themselves and the world around them as they play. And you can guide their young minds toward more efficient expansion by ensuring they’ve got the right surroundings and tools for beneficial playing.
Educational toys are crucial in this process – they give children some of the most elementary skills they’ll need and use throughout the rest of their lives. Through interactions with their toys, they learn their first notions of cause and effect, conflict resolution, and problem-solving. And these toys help them learn about sharing, increase their imagination and creativity, and develop essential skills – including gross and fine motor skills.
So, let’s take a look at how children benefit from well-designed educational toys from an early age.
Playing And Development For Babies
Did you know that kids start having their first beneficial interactions with toys when they’re just one month old?
And within the first year, they’ll gain a lot from the sensory play that stimulates and nurtures the development of their senses. As your kid keeps growing, they’ll also become better at hand-eye coordination – which is when you can start introducing more interactive toys.
In this period, children can benefit from their first problem-solving puzzles and toys – stuff that will introduce cause and effect and similar concepts they’ll need later in life. Plus, every time they figure out how something works and master a toy, they’ll experience their first confidence boosts that help build their general confidence in the long run.
Naturally, toys that help them develop movement like mobiles, portable toys, blocks, stackers, and learning centers they can crawl around are all beneficial as well.
Playing And Development For Toddlers
Once your baby crosses that vital one-year threshold, you will notice they’ve become incredibly mobile. They’re finally feeling the freedom to explore the world around them – with enough curiosity to keep them bumbling around for hours at a time.
At this stage, you can also help them learn coordination and balance by introducing the proper toys – while also satiating the curiosity they’ve developed with their mobility. As your toddler starts walking, you can also start introducing them to numbers – for instance, by counting their steps. Naturally, they probably won’t master the concept of numbers for a long time – but they’ll become familiar with the associated terms, even if the meaning still escapes them at this particular age.
Plenty of themed playsets serve as excellent educational toys for one-year-olds. Not only are they more attractive if they look like their favourite cartoon shows – but they also help them develop crucial recognition skills. And it goes beyond just stuff they’ve seen on TV or YouTube. If the theme of a playset revolves around animals, you can practice repeating the sounds they make, or describing their looks.
The latter also helps kids with language development, and they’ll start learning the names of shapes and colors. So, feel free to start using walkers, themed books and toys, push cars, and ride and stride toys at this stage.
Two Years And Beyond
When your kids become more active after the age of two, physical play becomes a more critical part of their learning experience. You can start showing them how to ride a safe tricycle and teach them about the vital importance of safety with stuff like helmets. Don’t underestimate the importance of this process – embedding the importance of safety into their minds at such an early age will do wonders for them later in life.
Plus, this is the age at which you can start giving them toys that focus on cognitive skills even more. Small motor skills will increase faster if you help them practice writing and drawing. There are also plenty of video games that can assist with literacy skills and stuff like name recognition.
Also, if you want your kids to develop reading skills at an early age, you can start reading books that have plenty of colorful pictures and a couple of words on every page. That will help your child become familiar with the whole concept of books, and how words appear on book pages.
As kids age, the toys they play with change as fast as they do. But that doesn’t mean any of the toys at each stage weren’t important – on the contrary. Your child will benefit immensely if you carefully introduce the appropriate toys for developing the right skills at the correct times. And, of course, don’t forget the other side of the coin – for any of this to work, your kid needs to have fun as well!