Toys are not just for fun and enjoyment. They’re necessary to help kids develop skills needed in the future. All physical skills that require dexterity, strength, and coordination are best taught through toys. In the younger years, kids learn how to use these muscles by repeatedly using toys. As they wander from one block to the next, your child builds skills like pre-reading and mathematics.
Most parents head to the store and buy educational toys to stimulate their child’s development. However, you can also have fun by designing and building kids’ toys that are appropriate for their age and needs.
Here are the ideal toys to promote child development:
Toys to Develop Physical Dexterity
Swings, child-sized strollers, and wading pools help develop strength, balance, and coordination. To encourage their physical skills at home, choose toys that offer different difficulty levels for other age groups.
For example, a toddler can learn the coordination needed to climb a ladder using a stroller or small slide. An older child may use the same stroller but will enjoy it because it is easier to maneuver.
Toys to Develop Mathematical Skills
Turning a shape into its mirror image, matching sets, and recognizing numbers are just some math skills taught during playtime.
Young children learn these concepts by simply playing with blocks or stacking rings of different sizes. This type of play encourages the growth of your child’s mathematical skills.
To encourage your child’s mathematical abilities at home, try putting a puzzle on the floor and letting them lay in baby position to play with it. “See” how many pieces they can fit into their mouth! It’s a great way to teach counting and pattern recognition.
Toys to Develop Social Skills
Dolls and stuffed animals are great toys to help children develop their social skills. Early playtime teaches kids how to take care of these items like a baby brother or sister.
They learn to care for the stuffed animals and role-play with them just like their parents do as they age. This teaches children about friendship, discipline, and sharing.
Toys to Develop Creativity
Finger paints, crayons, clay, and other art materials help kids explore their creativity. They also provide an opportunity for helping children develop fine motor skills for writing with pencils.
By encouraging your child’s creativity at home, you can easily stimulate their imagination by playing with them. Just turn a cardboard box into an airplane, or give them a roll of toilet paper and watch the fun begin.
Toys for Speech Development
Playing with different toys that make unique sounds helps your child expand their ability to communicate with others. These toys include rattles, talking dolls, and musical instruments.
You can simulate these sounds at home by using various household items like spoons, egg beaters, or even pots and pans. You will be surprised what noises they come up with.
Reading picture books, singing nursery rhymes, and playing pretend are all ways to help your child learn how to speak. You can also make up your own words for everyday items like Mommy, Daddy, or Blankie. This will expand their vocabulary by exposing them to new ideas and words they may not be familiar with yet.
Toys to Develop Problem Solving Skills
Nature-based activities like building forts with pillows, blocks, and blankets stimulate your child’s imagination while teaching them how to problem-solve. Puzzles, mazes, think-outside-the-box games all help teach kids how to experiment and find a solution by following the rules.
You can encourage problem-solving at home by having them use various household items to develop ideas for new toys. Toy cars can be made into a helicopter with the addition of some string or tape. Toy buckets as boats and toy wagons as airplanes are great ways to spark your child’s mind.
Toys to Develop Variety in Learning Styles
Children have specific learning styles that affect how they obtain new information. Some children learn best by using their five senses. These kids tend to be visual learners and may find watching videos or reading books more enjoyable than playing with objects.
Other children need a hands-on approach to understand the material being taught. These kids are auditory and tactile learners. They need to hear or see demonstrations to fix information in their mind.
Finally, some kids combine these two learning styles and find interacting with the material itself easier. These children are called kinesthetic learners because they need physical activity before they can absorb new ideas.
As they grow up, parents can continue stimulating their child’s development through construction-based activities like building model cars from scratch or assembling a puzzle as an adult-child team project.
All you need to do is find out which ones best suit your child’s needs and interests at different stages in growing up. You’ll be supporting them on all fronts–physical, emotional, mental–and making memories that last a lifetime.