Play is a fundamental activity for child development. In fact, it is through playful activities that the child learns to know his environment and the different functions of the objects that surround him, while developing different skills. In addition, it is an ideal method to learn to relate to others and establish their first emotional bonds with other children.
Likewise, the game allows you to develop mental skills, while enhancing the concept formation. Of course, all this occurs in playful activity, but through toys, which are the main tools that children use to play.
Why are they so important? toys in child development?
- They stimulate children’s learning, allowing the child to discover the existence of different shapes, colors, sizes and textures.
- They develop gross and fine motor skills, also enhancing visual-spatial ability.
- They allow the child to discover the functions of the objects around him, understanding what each one is used for.
- They help children improve their balance and coordination, while stimulating muscle control.
- They facilitate the maturation of three basic mental functions: assimilation, understanding and adaptation to reality.
- They encourage creativity and imagination, especially when it comes to toys n or conventional, such as a cardboard box, a tape or a few simple bottles.
- They stimulate children’s self-confidence because while the child plays, they feel that they are the protagonist of the activity, knows that he is capable of mastering the task and the toys he uses.
- They improve control of emotions, while helping the child to discover new sensations and feelings.
- They favor socialization and the creation of emotional bonds with people, either with other children or with adults.
- They enhance communication and children’s ability to express themselves because through toys the child can express what he thinks, feels or wants to do.
- They help to deal with the problems of daily life, facilitating conflict resolution, since the child models through of the game both your concerns and possible solutions.
How to get the most out of toys?
All toys are important for child development, but not all have the same effect. If reference were made to an “ideal toy”, that would be the spontaneous toy (which the child chooses by himself) and the educational toy (which has an instructive purpose). However, the usefulness of a toy will also depend on how the child uses it. A toy that can be a development for a 5-year-old child can be frustrating for a 3-year-old child, who does not understand its function. Therefore, to get the most out of toys, it is necessary to :
- Supervise the child while he plays, do not interrupt him but observe his interests and skills with toys. In this way, later you can stimulate less developed skills using his favorite toys.
- Ask him what he plays with and what the function of each toy is. However, avoid judging the uses he gives each toy and do not try to modify its shape of game. As much as possible, you should suggest new ways of playing, but without criticizing theirs.
- Play with your child following their own rules. Let them set the limits, determine the functions of the toys and the purpose of the game.
- Encourage the child to find new uses for their toys, as well as different rules for the game. In this way you will be promoting the creativity and expanding their horizons, helping them understand that the same object can have different functions.
- When shopping, choose educational toys, that are adapted to their level of development , so you don’t generate frustration in the child.