All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy could also mean choosing the right toy for your child. Choosing just any toy that catches your child’s fancy without considering its educational benefits could spell the difference between good and bad start of your kid’s learning process. Since play is an integral part of your child learning process, you have to make sure that the toys you buy do not spoil the fun and disrupt your child’s learning and development.
If you are planning to give your child or someone else’s kid a toy, the following criteria will help you choose the appropriate toy.
1.Choose toys that encourage strategic use of their imagination.
2.Select toys that pose a positive challenge for them. This type of toy gives a sense of accomplishment after successfully completing the task.
3.Choose toys that will give children an enjoyable experience and love what they are learning.
Every child is inherently curious, they are natural learners. How often has your child asked you with a barrage of questions on just about anything with the assertiveness of a lawyer? How often did you feel like a witness under cross examination? As a parent, you should make the most out of those moments when your child’s curiosity is at work.
Satisfy your child’s curiosity by giving sincere answers to his questions about nature, animals, and characters in fairy tales. Your responses and explanations provide them with basic understanding of the world around us. Educational toys enforces understanding as it allows your child to experience first hand what you have explained to him.
Children are natural learners, however, this does not necessarily mean that their needs are the same. Their speed of development varies making it incumbent on parents to be a little more careful in choosing toys that corresponds to their child’s individual development. Children’s needs change with their age and with their differing abilities.
For babies and infants, toys that will stimulate their sight, touch and hearing is advised. Babies need toys which they can easily grip and must have strong contrasting colors to help them distinguish between patterns and objects. On the other hand, toddlers will find educational toys that develops their hand to eye coordination. Puzzles and building blocks will be appreciated since toddlers like to manipulate objects.
By the time a child is 2 or 3 years old, creative play or role playing will prove helpful in developing his imagination, language skills and emotional behavior. At this stage, girls love dressing up. At 4 or 5 years old, a child shifts to cognitive play which involves his decision making and problem solving skills. Upon reaching school age, games with rules take the place of cognitive and creative play.
Start laying the groundwork for your child’s scientific, mathematical, language and physical skills by providing him with carefully chosen toys. Start learning and playing with toys not because you are still a kid at heart but because you have a child dear to your heart.