Children of all ages love to play, and they love to explore the world around them. It is important to foster and encourage your children’s love of play, and to do this, you need to think carefully about the toys that you use, select, and purchase. Your children’s imagination and interest need to be sparked to be as creative as possible. So, when it comes to choosing toys, what should you be thinking about, and what questions should you be asking yourself?
Feel and Touch Are Important
Children learn, grow, and develop through touch, and through using their other senses. Toys that allow children to connect with nature are always good because these toys give them a connection they cannot get inside. For example, mud kitchens allow them to explore touch, texture, and sound. Having toys that are made of a variety of materials, gives children a chance to feel through play. Feeling a variety of materials, shapes, and sizes will spark their curiosity. When they can feel and touch they can learn quickly, and they have fun while learning too. Interest and creativity within children can be sparkled by using sand, or by using mud (in a mud kitchen).
Being Able to Create
Children love to create, and they love to create shapes, houses, animals, and even people. Allow them to create by giving them magnetic toys and shapes. You will find that when they can create their own designs and shapes, they can then also start developing key skills which they can use when they are grown up. For example, you will find that Magnatiles for STEM from CreateOn allow your children to build houses with magnets, or build colorful designs over and over again. When children can create their own toys and games, they can also work on other key skills such as spatial awareness, and problem-solving. If you simply give a child a toy to play with, they may not use their brain as much as they would do (if you gave them a toy that they had to construct themselves).
All children love to imitate what they see grown-ups doing. When you encourage role play and dressing up in your children’s lives, you let them feel like a grown-up, you foster independence, and you allow them to connect with what grown-ups do in the real world. Role-play toys and role-play dressing up will give your children a connection that will last through their lives, and play a pivotal role in their development. When you are looking at role-play toys, you need to look at costumes, toys, and setups that will mimic the world around them. So think about purchasing mini grocery store setups, or think about purchasing doctors and nursing kits and outfits. Playing princesses, knights and kings is always going to be fun and is important in their development, but toys and games that are realistic and relatable can be enjoyed by children of all ages.