Childhood is the most important part of any human’s growth. Playtime is vital in developing and enhancing all forms of healthy growth in a child. Children are inquisitive by nature and have natural instincts to learn. They always ask questions like ‘why?’, ‘what?’ and so on. This early curiosity is a key element in understanding the nature and science around them. The toys they play with highly influence the growth process and development. Just as much as playing gives them fun and joy, it also enables them to think creatively, opens up imagination, and develops independent thoughts and ideas. Toys, an integral part of their play, thus become subjects of learning.
When you pick educational toys for your kids, you must make sure they are age appropriate and suit the individual personality of your kid. Every child has his or her own pace of mental and physical growth. Usually babies need soft and bright colour toys to touch and see. They stimulate their senses like touch, sight and hearing. Some of the suitable toys for babies are flap books, rattles and squeaky toys. When thy become toddlers their hand eye coordination improves allowing them to use puzzles, slotting toys and building blocks. They like to see how things fit together and use toys; they can change according to their liking.
By the age of 2 and 3, kids learn motor skills and it is beneficial to make sure they do. Therefore, parents can introduce arts and crafts to their children at this age. Clay modelling, colouring, and drawing are essential crafts for kids. When kids reach 4 and 5, they develop cognitive skills, such as reasoning, creativity and problem solving. They learn to play with rules. This is where; parents should introduce Lego, bigger puzzles, mosaic art, building blocks and construction toys. By the time, a kid starts schooling; they need toys that help social interaction and intellectual growth. They develop interests to play with others, rather than by themselves. There are board games, activity kits, educational kits such as science and maths demonstrations and painting, for kids to progress in their thinking and learning abilities.
The toys kids use, also vary according to gender, age and the social and home environment they live in. Identifying your children’s potentials, needs and interests, is every parent’s responsibility when buying them educational toys. Don’t just buy them toys because you think they are educational. Buy them toys, which will hold their attention and interest. Let them play and learn on their own, without making them feel like the toys are there to learn. Children grasp the knowledge and ideas without much effort, just a little guidance is all they need sometimes.
Play-Education is a wonderful technique of getting your kids to learn while they play, without inhibiting their freedom of imagination and ideas. Choose for your kids the most appropriate toys to nurture the learning qualities in them.