As you know by now, learning through play is an incredibly important component of early childhood development. But let’s dive a little deeper and look at if toys are good for toddlers!
We believe toys are GREAT for toddlers for a huge range of reasons. Let’s have a look at why.
Toys are more than just fun and games for children - every time your child is playing they are learning. They may be learning about colours, shapes or numbers. They may be learning spatial awareness such as distance and positioning. They could even be learning about their place in our world. It sounds pretty complex doesn’t it - but even the most simple of toys is providing your child the chance to learn so very much.
When you provide a toy to your child that will spark their imagination, encourage them to interact with items or people around them or even explore the toy with their hands (or mouths!) you are encouraging their curiosity. Babies as young as just a few weeks will begin to explore their surroundings. They may turn their head to a noise which is why sensory toys such as rattles and bells are fantastic for even newborns. Toys with contrasting colours are fascinating to children and will stimulate your babies' developing sight and vision.
As your baby grows, their interaction with the world around them grows. Every new shape, new colour and new texture will provide your child with an opportunity to learn - and they have so much to learn! Let’s look at a few of the ways simple toddler toys will help your little one learn.
Musical Toys : Sensory play is so important for children. I’m sure we’ve all seen those adorable videos of even tiny babies grooving to the music! Music is such a huge part of the world we live in, so an early exposure to bells, rattles and xylophones can create and foster a life-long love of this art form. The beauty of musical toys is that there is no right or wrong way to play. Every action your child takes will result in a reaction. If they shake a bell they make a noise, if they bang the drum a sound will come out. Music is emotional, it doesn’t matter if you are doing it ‘right’ you are creating something unique and that is a learning opportunity that should be celebrated! Do you need to update your musical toy collection? We can help.
Touch and Feel Toys : Colours and sounds are all well and good, but when your child plays with toys that stimulate their sense of touch they will have a whole new experience! A soft toy with a bumpy section of fabric, a puzzle with some soft texture elements, even a paintbrush with its spiky bristles - all of these toys will allow your child to bring a whole extra level of sensory play to their activity!
Building Blocks : When your child plays with blocks, as an infant they may focus on the shape in their hand, the pointy corners, the smooth sides - working through their tactile experience of learning. As your child grows they may start to stack, build and sort the blocks, which is an example of spatial awareness and coordination. These stacking towers may start simply with just a block or two at a time, but as they get older, these structures may become more complex and even be examples of real-world buildings - such as a child building a castle! We have a huge range of wooden building blocks here.
Matching Toys : It is human nature to look for patterns and reasons for why things happen. It is an early learning experience to match and group things that are similar. Toys that allow your child to group pieces by colour, or sort by size, or match the animal to their home will allow your child to start to develop reasoning and logic. This is such a crucial element to our place in the world and its foundations start in early learning.
Toys are certainly good for toddlers and when your child finds an educational toy they really enjoy playing with, they will be more likely to spend time using it, reinforcing the things they are learning. Children can learn a lot from playing - so give them toys that open their eyes to new experiences. When you give your child educational toys and you get involved in playtime, it gives them a chance to bond with you, learn, and have fun at the same time. Playing with toys will help your child foster a positive attitude towards education - so make learning fun, give your toddler toys and watch as their whole world grows!
What is your favourite toy that your toddler plays with?