Research does highlight the fact that play is indeed an essential part of a child’s growth and development. The child needs to be encouraged to play more to release his or her energy. Play helps the child to discover who he or she is during infancy itself. It is a known fact that in early child development, a child’s mind is ever expanding as the child discovers and learns from his or her environment and surroundings.
Naturally, education toys do help children learn several different skills to expand their lives. These toys do help in developing problem-solving skills, teaching conflict resolution concepts and the cause and effect of work. It also exposes children all about sharing and helps develop their fine and gross motor skills as well as nurtures their creativity as well as imagination. Children can rather benefit from educational toys as early as one month old.
Benefits for the child from using educational toys
For a 1-12 months old, parents do realize that at an early age, sensory does help stimulate the child’s senses. As the child grows further hand-eye coordination is there and toys help encourage more interaction. As the child becomes more active, it is a good idea to introduce problem-solving toys. These toys do help children work through their conflicts and also become familiar with cause and effect. These children will grow with much confidence once they’ll figure out how to figure out how a toy works after trial and error and guidance. Other useful toys to introduce are those that promote movement.
Some such toys are:
- Small portable toys with lights and sounds
- Infant play
- Stackers or blocks
- Crawl around learning-based centers
- Light up dance mats with sound
- For a 12-24 months old: As the child approaches one year or older, he or she will soon be very mobile, and parents can Introduce toys that help teach balance as well as coordination. This arouses the child’s curiosity with their newfound mobility. As the child does begin to learn to walk, then it is sensible to include earning numbers by counting the steps of the child and thus making him o her more familiar with the terms and meaning even if they are not able to understand at this age. Themed play-sets can be introduced between the ages of 12-18 months as they enable the child to develop recognition skills. Toys that can help the child reach new heights between 1 and 2 years old include:
- Push cars
- Stride and ride toys
- Themed toys
- Themed books
- At 2+ years the child becomes a bit older and more active, and parents can introduce toys that tend to promote more physical play, like a tricycle and they need to be shown the importance of wearing a helmet, by making him or her use one while using the tricycle.
This is the right age to introduce toys that help develop cognitive skill-building. Several different toys can help the child to practice writing – whether it be drawing or writing his or her name – and their small motor skills.
Games and books can also help the child develop name recognition and develop literacy skills. Such toys aid the child in understanding visuals and what he or she
Toys that will help promote physical play and cognitive skill-building include:
- T-ball stands
- Basketball hoops
- Drawing easel
- Bowling sets
- Kinetic sand
- “See and Say” games or books
- Magnetic building blocks
- Counting toys
The play thus is an integral part of child development and growth. Toys play an important role in the child’s overall physical and mental growth.