By Marina Neiman
Fond memories of childhood usually bring to mind a favorite toy. A cuddly doll, colorful crayons, or a special wagon are all childhood favorites. Toys bring a great deal of joy to children, but they also can be valuable learning tools. Exploring, pretending, and sharing are just a few of the important skills children develop while they play. Toys don’t have to be expensive. Cardboard boxes in the backyard and measuring cups in the bathtub are favorite standards. But parents who do wish to purchase toys may find it helpful to know what toys to choose and which to avoid for children of different ages.
Every child is unique, has its specific pattern of development and has different ways of cruising through the milestones of physical, mental and social development. Infants and toddlers learn about the world through their senses. They are interested in the sight, sound, smell, texture, and taste of things. Objects or toys that can be squeezed, dropped, poked, twisted, or thrown are sure to cause delight. Toddlers also enjoy any item that can be stacked, poured, opened, closed, pushed, or pulled. Toys are vital for the physical and mental development of your infant baby. The toys have a significant bearing on your infants personality, therefore must be carefully selected.
During these years, children use their imagination to imitate adult activity and participate actively in physical games. Their physical coordination develops, and the foundation of printing and writing is also laid at this time. Preschool children learn by doing. They are busy developing new skills. They like drawing, painting, and building. They also spend a great deal of time pretending. Dress-up clothes, pretend play and puppets are big favorites. Preschoolers are energetic and active. They need large balls to roll and throw, wagons to pull, and tricycles to ride.
At this stage children learn about getting along with others, and about the adult world of sports, games and careers. They develop intellectual and social interests and make strong friendships, likes and dislikes. School-age children feel more grown-up and love activities that lead to (real products¦ such as jewelry, (designer¦ T-shirts, or stamp collections. They also develop a keen interest in sports and enjoy having adult-like physical equipment such as softball gloves, tennis rackets, or skates. They have a better understanding of rules and enjoy playing with others. Board games, cards, or dominoes teach math concepts and problem-solving skills.
The age of your child and not the activity level, is a primary factor in selecting an appropriate toy. Toys should not promote a single thought or concept; instead, they should enhance creativity and thinking skills. Toys and games are also important for the child to learn and practice logical and problem-solving. Toys that can be played in a number of ways serve as great educational tools and endorse comprehensive development of your child.
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