Playing and Growing: How Toys Impact Children’s Development

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Childhood is the most critical period of life. It’s when kids learn to use their senses to perceive the environment around them through sight, smells, tastes, touch, and hearing and develop skills that will forever be useful, like walking and talking. Moreover, playing and interacting with other people boosts their cognitive abilities, helps them face life challenges, and improves their emotional intelligence which is essential to live in harmony with themselves and others. So, what are the factors that influence their evolution? Besides what parents teach kids, the toys they play with and the games they get involved in also have some essential educational values. To dig deeper into this subject, in this article, you can find out how toys impact children’s development:

four boy playing ball on green grass

Toys stimulate children’s cognitive abilities

In early childhood, kids develop brain-cell connections based on their experiences that shape their cognitive abilities. Playing is part of every kid’s daily routine, and it’s an activity that allows them to shape their reality and make sense of the world around them. Many games and toys stimulate their brain’s cognitive functions; for example, a common toy kids play with is construction sets with cubes and other shapes, which improve their attention to detail, spatial reasoning, decision-making, and problem-solving when the pieces don’t fit, as they try to find solutions for finishing their construction successfully. Moreover, another great example of cognitive toys is puzzles, which improve kids’ critical and analytical thinking. So, playing goes beyond just an entertaining activity; it’s a vital experience that encourages kids’ mental growth.

Educational games help kids learn

Educational toys or games are powerful learning tools that stimulate children’s brains. For instance, there are many games that involve basic arithmetic, which is a fun way to teach kids counting, playbooks that imitate the sounds of animals to learn about the natural environment around them, or toys that encourage learning how to write, spell, or pronounce words. Commonly, children don’t have the necessary attention span to sit down and study; in fact, thanks to their educational benefits, these kinds of games are usually adopted in school to make learning more engaging. However, these educational activities are a must for all ages, so even if your little one is not in school yet, consider including these games in their routine. 

Active playing encourages physical development

Active playing encourages children’s physical development; games that involve running and overall movement of the body are valuable ways to boost motor skills. As you might know, kids have plenty of energy that needs to be consumed, so it’s crucial to allow them to move freely in a natural environment or even have fun indoors, engaging them in interactive experiences that require mobility. For instance,  is a realm of fantasy for kids of all ages where they can experience activities that boost their creativity, play with other kids to challenge their skills, and get in touch with nature in a green space dedicated to gardening, which is also a great way to encourage physical activity.

Toys improve kid’s emotional intelligence

Toys can help kids boost their emotional intelligence as they learn to recognise, understand, and manage their emotions; hence, making it easy to understand other people’s feelings as well. Most children have their favourite toy by their side daily. Whether it’s a doll or a stuffed animal like the adorable bunny Miffy, the toy is most likely their best friend that comforts them in difficult situations, helping them overcome challenges and manage negative emotions. Kids interact with their toys openly, creating scenarios in which they mirror real-life situations and building an emotional connection with the characters that help them identify and express their feelings.

Toys nurture creativity and imagination

Children have lots of imagination. Hence, they also have significant creative skills. This happens thanks to the scenarios they create when playing with their toys or artistic activities that allow them to express themselves freely. Through imaginative playing, kids can explore their emotions, get involved in storytelling, get inspired by fairytales, and manipulate the environment around them to lead their own reality. Also, role-playing has no limits, allowing kids to be whatever they want; a knight, a princess, or a superhero are just some examples of what their imagination can lead to. Art supplies are also valuable tools that can test the little ones’ creativity; without rules or instructions, they can express their thoughts by drawing what comes to their mind, experimenting with colours, and creating artwork that defines their limitless mind.

Playing promotes positive social skills

Social skills are a crucial aspect that allows kids to grow with empathy towards others and learn how to communicate appropriately by paying attention to what others say, promoting active listening, and identifying the best ways to express their ideas clearly. Moreover, playing with other kids can help children understand the importance of sharing their toys so that they can all enjoy the activity, communicate with each other positively to avoid fighting, and apply the values and principles they’ve learned from their parents in real-life situations. However, social playing often ends up challenging each other to see which one is the best at doing something, and it might develop into a fight. Still, with the parents’ involvement, the little ones can learn about conflict management and know how to avoid further problems.

The bottom line

Childhood years are the most influential for kids’ development. From the first step the little one takes to running and playing, children’s activities in the first decade of life can turn them into emotionally available and secure adults. As we said before, playing is part of every kid’s routine, but some toys are not just fun items to play with; they are also powerful tools that can help children learn how to manage real-life situations, identify their emotions, and shape essential values in their interaction with others. So, allowing your kid to play with educational toys is an excellent way to shape their bright future. 

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