When we had our first child, I remember walking into a children's store staring at all the shelves, not knowing what's the best to get for him. It's not just because of the amount of choices, but as a parent, it's definitely great to know that what he plays with will help him in life in the future.
Upon further research, I came to realize that there are a number of essential skills that when the child develops it early in life, it can never be forgotten. While the list can be endless, I hope these skill highlighted here can also help other moms become aware of the positive aspects of play that they can expose their kids to.
Develop Motor Skills
These kinds of toys will help a child learn how to grab things and put them where they need to go. From handing pencils for writing to using the keyboard, these toys help develop dexterity in their hands which is the foundation to learn skills like numeracy and language.
Toys like building blocks, bricks or pop suction builders foster this dexterity and eye-hand coordination. Such toys also stimulate the development of creative thinking as kids naturally love to make new things that either resemble something in real life or even out of their own imagination. That leads us to the next skill.
These help children to develop imaginations also and are usually time-tested. Children come back to these toys again and again because they never run out of ideas to create. Besides building block toys, items like kids' cameras, or drawing pads are also great sources of creative play. These are items designed specifically for children, with real functions, that keeps them going over and over again. The additional benefit that such educational products have is the development of focus and concentration.
Focus and Concentration
There's no running away from screens these days. While these are not the source of problems, apps that kids use with tablets and mobile phones like social media, short video streaming, or games tend to build a habit of instant gratification. The negative effect of that is having a short attention span. While it's not always bad, kids definitely do better with more activities that keeps them engaged and exercises their concentration "muscles".
Toys like board games or this penguin ice breaker game is interactive, yet keeps children focused on an objective. Gratification comes once the objective is achieve, and it is excellent for learning about progress, strategic thinking as well as social skills.
Social and Emotional Intelligence
As important as IQ, a child's social and emotional quotient (SQ and EQ) help to develop a well-rounded individual, who is well aware of herself and others around him. This give her a sense of confidence and ability to collaborate with others in future.
Toys that teaches about expressions like this magnetic puzzle board are great for nurturing an awareness of their own moods and those of others.
Learning through play can be greatly enhanced by being conscious of the benefits of the toys that kids interact with. With this in mind, we can definitely create a great growing and learning experience for our kids.
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