Do toys help Child Development?

Toys can help your children achieve developmental milestones quickly. Toys are just not some items to entertain or distract your baby with.

Toys can entertain, inform, educate and have a myriad of benefits for babies. The trick is to select the right toys for your baby.

What are the benefits of toys? Toys can help develop a child’s cognitive, academic, musical, artistic skills. Toys can help kids develop their thinking and reasoning abilities, how they interact with peers and others, their emotional development and language development.

Did you know that toys can help even newborns? Babies learn the concept of
 object permanence  from toys. Object permanence is the concept that a person or object is still there even if not in sight.

Another concept babies learn is the
 cause and effect . The concept is that every cause has an effect. So they learn to throw a ball and watch it fall, throw food and watch it land on the carpet and the horrified expression on mums face. This happens around 7 months of age. And yes…there are toys to help achieve every milestone in a child’s development.

I sometimes belive that toys are more important now because kids do not have access to natural playthings we could as children.

As a child my toys were sticks, leaves, flowers, stones, bricks, sand. With my kids such things are not freely accessible, and it involves a scheduled time to take them to a park which is quite a drive away.

If you have a backyard, then it is better to have natural toys for kids, such as pebbles, sand etc… For smaller babies this might not be possible … but our parents let us play with dirt and pebbles… .

Some toys like vehicles, construction toys encourage problem solving skills and aid in cognitive development.

How do Toys Influence Behaviour Self-Concept and Identity

Toys can influence what a child believes about himself, his identity and ultimately affect his behavior. Studies show that kids find security in identifying themselves with a religion, with an ethnicity or identifying themselves with other kids ( or gender …boys and girls).

Toys that have lots of possibilities for open play, less-directed play, can promote more creativity and problem solving. These are characteristics we like to see for positive development.

I have written an article on how toys help with cognitive development. This article also suggests toys based on the age of your child. Please do check it out.

Do Babies Need Toys to Learn?

 Babies take toys seriously  … for them it is their office. Their work is to play, research, explore, test theories, experiment and draw conclusions.

This is how they develop, and grow. The constant learning, the desire and excitement to explore new things is what makes this age so exciting.

That is why we wish we were like babies, always eager, always on the go, always waiting for anew day to explore new things.

Babies learn languages and musical instruments faster if exposed to them from birth to 12 months.

Playtime is very important for babies and helps them learn. Toys just assist this process and make it so much more fun.

Can Newborns Play with Toys?

For a Newborn playtime is much different than with an elder baby. Usually a toy is a big board book a parent reads to them. Rattles and toys which make sounds are good for babies.

Here is how to use playtime and Toys effectively.

Hug and caress baby. Read stories and use colourful bright toys. Babies can recognise sound, colours and parents voice.

Use a rattle, this is the best toy which can be used until 7 to 8 months of age. The sounds rattles make is good for language learning.

Run the rattle over babies legs, back. This helps baby understand touch, texture. Books with textures and sounds are good for newborns to 7 months of age.

You do not really need a real toy for baby. No money is good. Now you can fill an empty bottle with beads and that is the rattle.

You can use a scarf, soft toys, to help baby understand texture.

I feel less is more and so ask you to please not overstimulate baby, with your words or with stuff.

We don’t want to overwhelm our child, we want this to be a happy space and time for bonding, learning and growing.

How does play affect a child’s development?

When my second baby was born, I was bedridden. I couldnt move out of bed much and eventually when he was 6 to 7 months old, just breastfeeding was difficult.

Needless to say I had no energy to play with him, give him a bath …

So what I did instead was to lie down near him, talk to him, hug him, sing songs, sing rhymes.

These he remembers still now. Since I couldn’t sit and play with him, we played with cloth, a rattle…

What I am trying to say is that a toy is anything which can help with the babies development. It does not necessarily have to be the most expensive toy in the shop. In fact gadgets and electronic toys do more harm than good.

The best toys are the simplest of toys such as building blocks, vehicles , construction toys, wooden boxes, cartons, puppets.

 Kids can use such open ended toys in multiple ways.  

The best developmental toys are those which develop skills such as social interaction, problem solving and creative expression in kids. Construction toys and toy vehicles are good for both girls and boys.

Toys can influence how a child thinks and how he interacts with others. Open-ended toys help with creative expression. Toys can help children gain spatial skills, understand how to build things, learn science in practical ways.

The type of toy a child plays with can be important, but how they’re using the toy and whom they’re playing with is also important.

The type of toy a child plays with can be important, but how they’re using the toy and whom they’re playing with is also important.

Toys that are bad for Child Development

This article would be incomplete if I do not mention that toys can also have undesired effects on our kids.

Some toys encourage aggression and kids who play with such toys end up with acting aggressively.

Some toys can reinforce prejudices and stereotypes. Like in the video below kids around the age of 3 to 4 years have some beliefs.

Watch this video below and think about what you would have thought if you were asked to draw a firefighter, doctor, scientist, pilot.

Would you have associated a male or female gender ?

Research shows there is a disparity in learning and social skills in boys and girls into adulthood.

Some researchers believe that this could be linked to toys.

Here is what I found. Researchers believe that
Boys – Have are better at spatial and mathematical tasks
Girls – Show more Empathy and language skills

This is something I never gave much thoughtto,but now I tend to agree.

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