While playing with toys brings enjoyment to children, it can also be hugely beneficial for their development. Research shows that the two most powerful factors related to cognitive development during infancy and preschool years are the availability of play materials and the parent’s involvement with the child.
It is evident that different types of toys will impact children’s behaviour in different ways and some are more beneficial for development. Playing with educational toys can help children learn many different skills including problem-solving and concentration.
Here are some reasons why toys are important for a child’s development and some examples of the best educational toys
Fine motor skills
From buttoning up a shirt to tying shoelaces, all these everyday tasks require fine motor skills. So, it’s hugely important for children to establish these from a young age and educational toys are a great way of doing so.
Some of our favourite educational toys for fine motor skills are those that encourage them to push, pull, grab and pinch or use their hands and body. You can start off with small toys such as building blocks, marbles and cars that can easily fit in their hands.
You can then progress onto larger toys which will encourage them to use their whole body such as throwing a ball or riding a bike.
Toys can also be used to help a child progress their sense of touch, sight and hearing. Sensory development is important as it is through their senses that they will explore the world around them and is essential for brain development.
Bright toys with different colours and images can both help to capture the child’s attention and will help them begin to recognise these sights in the future. Meanwhile, toys that produce different sounds will help a child develop their hearing and contribute towards their language development.
Another benefit of playing with toys is that it can help them advance their creativity and imagination. This is very beneficial as children will learn to express themselves and think outside the box.
This can be as simple as giving them crayons or paint to create a picture of something around them or use their imagination. Meanwhile, building toys such as lego or wooden blocks are the perfect toy for children to build their own creations.
Problem-solving is a key life skill for children to develop and will help them to become more confident and independent. Toys that challenge the mind of a child will push them to develop their ability to solve problems.
At a basic level, a puzzle is a great toy for children as they are required to organize all the puzzle pieces and work out where they all fit in.
At a more advanced level, they can engage with toys that help them advance their mathematical skills such as counting toys.
Young children generally have a low attention span and can easily become distracted when engaging in activities. Educational toys are a great way of making learning fun and so are more likely to engage your child in a better way.
Playing with toys will help to improve their concentration which will be important as they grow and start school.
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