Many of us enjoy fond memories of our favourite childhood toys growing up, which evoke nostalgia and happiness. What we often don’t realise is how these toys played a vital role in our development, from cognitive, social and physical skills, they helped shape our future.
While each child grows and learns at their own pace there are certain milestones in which toys can help with the development of certain skills. From birth, babies are constantly learning and it is in these first months that their senses quickly develop. Toys that help develop these senses such as night lights and cot mobiles are the perfect place to start.
As your little one becomes a toddler, they will begin to go through a rapid rate of growth as they begin to take their first steps and speak their first words. Walkers and balance bikes will help with balance, while musical and sport toys can help communication skills
Here are just some of the skills that can be promoted through play:
Cognitive skills: From the day your baby is born they are learning about the world around them and cognitive development is one of the most important ways they grow. From exploring their surroundings to developing perception and thinking skills, toys play a vital role.
Social skills: Joint play is a great way to develop friendships and bonding experiences. Toys can support with language skills, sharing with others and navigating interactions with adults and children
Physical skills: Not only does active play help develop a healthy lifestyle, being physically active can develop motor skills too. Toys of this kind can help little ones with balance, learning to walk and exploring their surroundings.
Emotional development: As we grow we understand how to identify our emotions and become fine-tuned to understanding them, but for babies this is a whole new territory for them to understand. Through play, children can learn to express themselves, unleash their creativity and find their personality.
Play time helps children at any age to develop in all areas in a fun and exciting way and active play is vital for developing skills that we take through with us for life. Learning and playing stimulate the brain to develop new abilities and our shared experiences through movement help strengthen our balance, coordination and motor skills development.