I guess most people can recall their childhood playing with toys and imaginary friends. While this is often considered to be a casual thing for children, however, it really isn’t.
Lots of complex psychological and physical aspects come into play when children interact with their toys. In this article, we are going to explore the benefits of playing with toys at a young age.
It Helps to Grow Imagination
Have you ever seen how children often develop a great friendship with ten feet tall imaginary monsters? Or how they push their imaginary boat to the imaginary ocean and start their breathtaking journey towards Treasure Island?
Do you think all these are meaningless? Well ask a psychologist and he will break it down to you. It is found that playing with toys enhance a child’s ability to work with his/her imaginations.
It allows the child to improve their cognitive skills and analytical abilities. Often children often role-playing games where they pretend to be the knight or a damsel in distress. They tend to find their own storyline and pretend to be both the protagonist and the antagonist.
Within a second they can turn from being a knight into to a great magician. Someone who can make magic potions by combining different objects.
This helps a child to connect with different objects and notions. An excellent way to enrich their thinking process.
How to Encourage Resourcefulness by Playing with Toys
You can keep a box filled with objects that are used by grown-ups on a day to day basis. It can be a plastic-made spoon or a hammer. Make sure that these objects can be used for multiple purposes.
For instance, your child may use the spoon as an imaginary stirrer and the next minute they can use it as a sword. Now, that’s a creativity booster!
Playing with Toys Help to Enhance Social Skills
Often you will find 2-3-year-old children organizing tea parties with their realistic reborn dolls and animals.
Often children use their observation skills as well as the tendency to mimic elders while they stage their own shows. This reflects through such “toy parties”.
This is an excellent way to learn how to interact and communicate with other people. As they get older, children use these past experiences while they interact with real people.
Playing with toy planes and fighting the enemy fighter jets or simply landing the plane to the mini airport can be a very common play. It helps a child to analyze the given situation and how to act in that particular circumstance.
If you’re your elder child observes you taking care of their younger sibling, they’ll automatically mimic your activities meticulously. This another great another great way to develop social skills.
How to Encourage Social Skills with Toys
Arrange a children’s party at the weekend and roll a soccer ball between your child and his friends. Encourage them to play with it. You can also try frisbees or dodgeballs for the same purpose.
Just make sure that the children are not getting exposed to any kind of unnecessary risks. Let them play freely but keep an eye on them as well.
Playing with Toys Helps to Enhance Physical Abilities
Playing with the monkey bars enhances your child’s ability to climb by using his hands and legs. Skipping helps to enhance balancing abilities.
Playing with blocks to make towers and walls requires extensive hand-eye coordination. It is a very effective way for a child to get used to using all their abilities in combination.
How to Help your Child Develop Physically while Playing
There are mini monkey bars you will find in the larger retail stores. You can buy one for your child. Also, buy tons of blocks and allow your child to play with them.
Psychological Benefits of Playing with Toys
Childcare specialists explain that when a child is not getting enough scope to play, he or she may begin to display unhappiness. And one of the best ways to deal with this kind of problem is- providing your child with age-appropriate toys. This way he/she remains busy and active all day long.
Toys Enhance Ability to Work as a Team
Human beings are social creatures. They need to learn how to collaborate and live in harmony for the sake of survival. And the process of learning how to live with others begins at a very young age.
Playing soccer with other kids help your child to understand how to collaborate with others during play time. It also promotes the idea of sharing and caring. And even helps to understand the necessity of facing any kind of rivalry collectively.
How to Get your Child Engaged with Toys?
We are living in the age of internet and smart electronic gadgets. These days, children are more into watching animations or playing games by using a smartphone.
Undoubtedly this is also a great form of entertainment for them and there are many apps that are quite educational. However, they come with their limitations as well.
Simply watching animations or playing games is not going to help your child with his physical development. As a matter of fact, it will deprive him of adequate physical activities.
1. Limit the Use of Electronic Gadgets
He will also struggle to interact with other kids and develop social skills if he is too busy playing games on his smartphone. So try to limit your kid’s interaction with electronic gadgets. Buy him a few age-appropriate toys and join him during the play time.
2. Take your Child Outdoors
Take your kid to the park where other kids from similar age group gather around to play. This will also help him to enhance his ability to interact with others.
3. Go for Counselling
If your child seems quieter than usual or shows less interest to play, try to interact with him/her. It is important to figure out the root cause of such behavior.
You may consider taking your child to a specialist for a checkup and counseling as well. This will help you to understand your kid better and act accordingly.
4. Spend More Time with your Child
Always remember, human interaction can never be replaced by toys under any circumstances. So instead of leaving your child all by himself with his colorful toys, try to play along.
This way, your child will learn to interact with other human beings and his toys are going to reinforce the entire process.
5. Buy Age Appropriate Toys
If you take a careful look at children’s toys, you will see that they come with an age range engraved. This indicates whether the toy is appropriate for your child.
So make sure that you check that before purchasing. Buying age-appropriate toys will also help your child enhance their social, physical and analytical skills.
Playing with toys may sound too “childish” to us grownups. But in reality, they are very important for a child’s development in the early stages to shape their personality.
So do encourage your child to play with toys and join with him during the activities. Not only will this develop their physical and social skills but, this will also help you both bond beautifully.
Shawn is a content writer at FeedFond. He’s as doting a parent to his own two children and an avid reader. To read more of his articles, visit Feedfond.com.