One of the best ways to facilitate childhood development naturally is through playing. Playing helps spark children’s imagination, keeps them active, as well as happy. As our children grow and become acquainted with the world, it’s important that we give them the right tools to help make the process as smooth as possible. Today we are going to look at some of the different toys that will ensure healthy growth and development in children of all ages.
In the infancy stage, our little ones are starting to familiarize themselves with all the different colors, textures, sights, smells, sounds and tastes the world has to offer. To help with their exploration, provide toys that showcase as many of these stimulants as possible. Things like rattles, squeak (or other noise making) toys, blocks, stuffed animals, simple picture books, and music making toys present an ample amount of sights and sounds for a new baby to explore. It’s important to remember: if you give an infant a new toy, they will more than likely put it in their mouth. Make sure all toys are free of sharp edges and parts that can be easily swallowed.
As running, jumping and climbing become easier, children generally become more active in the toddler stage. In this stage, toys that help develop coordination like pedal toys, push-pull toys, and wagons are a great step in the right direction. As your child’s body grows, their mind will grow as well. Toys that provide simple cognitive stimulation like paint, play-dough, puzzles, crayons, and chalk help your child further explore their creativity. Toddlers often start to take interest in adult activities, so letting them imitate household chores like sweeping or dusting can be a great way to let them feel included.
As your child gets ready for school, it’s important that he is comfortable socializing with peers. At this point use toys and suggest activities that require cooperative play, like various sports or tag. As children begin to develop better control of their muscles as well as advanced hand-eye coordination, an increased interest in physical play is expected. Introducing bikes and scooters (granted the proper protective gear and parental supervision are in place) can be a great addition to their toys.