Early child development is one of the more critical aspects of life. Along with human interaction, babies begin learning through their playtime. In actuality, play time for young children is a form of education. This is because their earliest development occurs across virtually every domain, including the areas of language, fine and gross motor, social, emotional, and cognitive skills. Bright lights bring bright smiles, while positive reinforcement encourages curiosity. Toys can be engaging and rewarding, making children excited to learn.
When choosing materials and planning learning activities for toddlers, parents should consider how the toys and their experiences with these toys will support their child’s development across every critical domain. Many BrightStarts toys for toddlers are educational, for example, but other toys may not be designed to teach skills. Below are 6 things that children regularly learn from playing with toys.
1. coordination To help develop coordination, toddlers do well with small puzzles, including large pieces and items with buttons, hooks, snaps, and buckles. Also, sturdy building toys like large blocks, child transportation vehicles, and furniture are good for all forms of physical development. Playing with large and small balls, low climbers, toddler jungle gyms, and tunnels with soft materials underneath them are also great for for developing leg and arm muscles.
2. New ideas Young children learn how to experience the world and practice their new skills with all kinds of toys, but they also learn how to internalize new ideas based upon these new experiences. Through the continual learning process, early skills are easily expanded when they are integrated with new skill sets.
3. Navigation Through play, toddlers learn about how the world works by engaging in activities designed to encourage their emotional, cognitive, and social development. Parents can use toys to demonstrate to toddlers how to navigate and use their bodies effectively. Cognitive skills can be learned by playing classic games like peek-a-boo.
4. Problem Solving When a parent uses a toy that makes a noise, toddlers can mimic it to learn how to use symbolic thinking and problem solving. For instance, when a toddler bangs on a toy, he creates sound. In this way, he learns to distinguish between cause and effect since this involves thinking and requires the use of mental skills to process information.
5. Creativity Dress-up clothes, puppets, dolls with accessories, and water and sand toys allow toddlers to develop their creativity, which aids in developing intellect. The same holds true for large non-toxic crayons, markers, paints, molding clay, and chalkboards. Even the youngest toddlers benefit from being encouraged to make pictures and use coloring books. These activities are often enhanced when parents and other children play along with them.
6. Collaboration For toddlers, all toys afford the opportunity to play in an open-ended and freestyle way. As such, children learn multiple functions that pertain to sight, sound, movement, and intellect. When toddlers play with their parents and in groups of their peers, they learn how to incorporate social aspects into their play, such as how to participate in collaboration and share.
Above all, effective playtime for toddlers not only affords them the opportunity to learn new skills, but also allows them to discover how to learn. Playtime also sets the stage for children that demonstrates how education and learning is an enjoyable process.
Savannah Bobo is a freelance writer who enjoys blogging about health, family, and entertainment, and whose fondest childhood memories are of playing on the floor with a room full of toys that spark the imagination. BrightStarts toys for toddlers are fun and educational, from sports playsets that focus on coordination to interactive alphabets that pop to life.
Photo Credit: Kalyan Kanuri (CC BY-SA 2.0)
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