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How toys help develop various skills in children

Albert Einstein rightly said, “Play is the highest form of research”. A child is always eager to snatch any new thing that catches the eye and toys are no exception! Toys are fun but they also provide lot of learning! From shaking the rattle to solving a puzzle every activity has something to learn! Different age groups have different types of toys, which develops different skills which we shall discuss here:-

Toys for less than a year old

Babies less than 1 year old learn to identify their near and dear ones from their voice, touch and face. This would be their first learning and they will learn the world from those closed ones! They learn to grasp any objects given to them and try to taste, smell and feel it! Suitable toys for babies are

  • Push-pull toys- These toys help in developing gross motor skills which will help them become runners and climbers!
  • Rattles- The sound of rattle can help babies learn from where the sound is coming and helps them know how shaking the rattle can produce sound!
  • Ring stack- Rings come in attractive colours with a cone. Babies learn the shape and size by holding the ring or mouthing it!
  • Stuffed animals- These soft textured toys can help baby learn about different body parts, how they look, how they make noise etc.

Toys for toddlers aged 1 – 3 year old

At this age your baby has enough control over his/her hands and legs and likes to do things on their own as they know how object works. Let’s say they throw things over and over again to understand how the sound is created and what happens when it falls. Suitable toys for them are

  • Balls- When they are rolled, bounced, thrown or caught, balls help them in developing gross motor skills, hand eye co-ordination and dexterity.
  • Pretend-play toys- Doctor’s kits, kitchen sets etc. help toddlers learn about the different tools used and their uses like thermometer is used to measure body temperature and rolling pin is used for making chapatti. Some other toys like Barbie doll set and teddy bear also encourage compassion and empathy by pretending to take care of their needs.
  • Shape sorters- Nesting cups/blocks, pegboard puzzles, and different geometrical shaped blocks with pipe help the child in hand-eye co-ordination and problem solving skills.

Toys for Pre-schoolers aged 3 - 5 years old

Pre-school children are now able to understand world around them as their senses are developed and they know the use of any object! You will be surprised to see how they make a boat from craft paper and sail it in water! They will also enjoy playing with friends where they will learn taking turns, give and take and sharing! Suitable toys for them are

  • Puzzles- Jigsaw puzzles help the child in logical thinking, co-ordination and learn about spatial relationships.
  • Character toys- Children can take the identity of princess, pirates or a knight! These help child learn about role modelling, leadership and learning what is right or wrong!
  • Construction sets- Using blocks children can make vehicle, house, tower, animal etc. with their imagination! This activity will encourage problem-solving skills and hand-eye co-ordination.
  • Art and craft- Cutting and pasting craft paper, colouring and drawing pictures help develop creativity and gives a sense of achievement!

Toys for elementary school aged 5 – 10 years old

Your child has grown up fast! They will ask you lot of questions so be prepared to answer them! They can now spend hours in completing a homework or any other project. Suitable toys for them are

  • Scientific toys- Toys like binoculars, telescopes, and other educational kits help child build practical knowledge and improve math and science skills.
  • Board games- Snakes and ladders, ludo, chess helps to learn taking turns, working in teams, following the rules and showing sportsmen spirit.
  • Musical instruments- Learning Violin, tabla, guitar or any other instruments helps in concentration and encourages listening skills.
  • Tricycles- Riding tricycles develops strength of muscles, heart and lungs. Also, it gives them sense of freedom when they try to ride alone!

So, we have seen there are variety of toys in the market, it’s our job to choose the ones that best suits our child according to their age, need and interests so that they love playing with them. Also, we need to make sure we carve out sufficient playtime with kids, because they love to hear “great job”, “well done” or “Superb” when they did anything like completed a puzzle or played lovely music!

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