How Educational Toys Promote Baby Growth
Selecting the toys and activities suited to children’s needs is a challenging task and it can be daunting for all parents and educators. But it can be easily dealt with by being attentive to fundamental principles of a child’s development and the role of parents and educators. With those, you can effortlessly select toys that serve to be the best gifts for 1 year old by supporting the learning process.
When did the first line of educational toys come up?
In the last few years, a growing number of educators and academicians have agreed that games and tits have a critical role in a child’s holistic development. But the development of such toys can be traced back to the 17th century with John Locke, the great Enlightenment Philosopher. In his book, Some Thoughts Concerning Education', he has mentioned the role of playing in making learning more enjoyable.
Wooden blocks were developed during the 18th century and Richard Lowell Edgeworth described them as effective tools for teaching children spatial connections, gravity, and other lawed of physics. Later, a number of stalwarts, right from Froebel to Maria Montessori advocated the use of educational toys and it has finally evolved to what we can access today.
How does playing help in promoting the growth of a baby?
Playing is such a mechanism through which toddlers and children learn, how they perceive the world around them, getting used to new skills while internalizing innovative ideas. It is a continuous as well as expanding process through which the past experiences are integrated into new ones. By playing, kids can learn about their surroundings and take part in activities that help in inspiring their emotional, social, and cognitive development.
Parents can help in building children’s play by allowing them to play with engaging toys. These effective toys are very safe for small children and are made according to their age, physical and mental capabilities. For instance, if a child expresses his interest in wildlife, you can bring animal toys for play blocks. Such games serve to be the foundation for their problem solving skills, rudimentary concepts for science and mathematics.
The development of children takes place across a number of domains such as language, fine and gross motor skills, cognitive and socio-emotional development. When it comes to selecting educational toys for kids, parents should consider how the play items will encourage learning across different domains.
The cognitive development of infants and toddlers also involves their critical thinking skills. With this, they can process information for comprehending how the surrounding works. Playing with educational toys offers opportunities to practice basic thinking skills like imitation, problem-solving, understanding cause and effect, and thinking symbolically. For instance, when you drum on a table or pots, your child will learn to imitate and quickly make a similar noise. As children learn to imitate, they can also discover how the surroundings work.
How are educational toys important to the development of an infant?
Several pieces of research show that learning through playing is a critical aspect of the growth and development of children. It is not just a way for the children to release the extra energy but also helps the children to learn through play even during the infant stage. Even during the early stages of development, playing with the right kind of toys help in nurturing their imaginative and creative powers.
Kids can start to benefit from the best gifts for 1 year old from a very young age, say, one month old. Here go some of the most beneficial ways of incorporating toys into their daily routine:
- 1-12 months: At this early age, sensory toys aid in stimulating the senses of your children. Over time, the growth and development process of your child will continue and lead to seamless hand-eye coordination. In this stage, you should introduce toys that can assist more interaction.
Your children will become more active and responsive and you can gradually bring in problem-solving toys. Such kinds of toys serve to be the best gifts for 1 year old as they help them to comprehend the cause and effect connection around them. It will help in building their confidence as they can naturally figure out how the toy will work after repeated trial and error. Some of the most effective toys at this stage are stacks, blocks, portable toys, crawling games, and others.
- 1- 2 years: As your child crosses the one-year mark, you will see that it’s practically impossible to make them sit in a place for a long time. Giving them the right kind of toys will aid in learning balance as well as coordination. Moreover, it will boost their curiosity and they will enjoy walking and running around. You can count their steps and teach the same to them to help them become familiar with the various terms.
For instance, themed playsets are one of the best educational toys for introducing at the age of 12 to 24 months. This is because children tend to develop their recognition skills at this stage. For instance, if you can get them a themed playset that emits sounds of different animals, you can practice the different sounds that the individual animal makes. Such toys include pushing cars, walkers, themed books and toys, and ride toys.
What are the benefits of educational toys?
Children are naturally quick learners and they have a good ability to observe the people around them. It is, therefore, your responsibility as a parent to maneuver their learning abilities for shaping towards a better future. It’s worth mentioning that educational toys are not necessarily the ones that have alphabets or numbers imprinted on them. In previous times, many parents failed to understand that attractive puzzles and blocks can also be educational toys.
There is no need to worry that these toys may bring about unwanted pressure on your children. This is because the toys are designed keeping in mind the needs of small children. These toys are such that your children wouldn’t even realize that they are actually meant to teach them important life skills. In essence, they are developed to promote learning for children through fun and games. While there is no age limit for introducing these toys, it’s best to give them learning toys as early as 8-12 months. Some of the most important benefits of educational toys for small children include:
1. Improving motor skills: The toys designed for educational purposes are associated with the development of sensory-motor skills in kids. Bright lights and colorful fonts help in enhancing the sense of sight. You should also incorporate more toys and activities that can boost their fine and gross motor skills. Over time, such toys will promote better interpersonal and intrapersonal skills later in life.
2. Boosting IQ and problem-solving skills: Educational toys are best known for boosting the IQ levels of children in several ways like retention of memory, improved coordination, and attentiveness. Such toys also challenge their minds positively. For example, you may notice that your child is stacking up the blocks but is failing to balance them.
After many trials and errors, he may realize the best way to arrange them. Another example is the game of puzzles. In this game, small children are required to focus all their mental energy and physical vigor to solve the puzzle. This, in turn, aids in boosting their problem-solving skills and makes them mature learners.
3. Improving concentration levels: By playing with the best gifts for 1 year old, your child will have to arrest their attention for a large amount of time. This will improve their focus in the long run and allow them to retain their memory in academics as well. So, in a way, children who play tend to become better learners later in life.
4. Developing emotional and social intelligence: With the new-age educational toys, you can assist your child to become a social being right from home. Playing with such toys that allow role-playing, children can learn to label emotions and develop empathy towards other people and living beings. Playing can also develop emotional intelligence within a child as he learns to cope with various emotions such as anger, frustration, boredom, happiness, and sadness.
5. Fostering creativity: Children not only learn new things from the educational toys but they can also think creatively when they come across any problem. You will notice that your children are using their imaginative faculties in dealing with their issues and coming up with beautiful solutions. Moreover, these fun toys create a safe experience for playing, along with creativity building, experimentation, imagination, and exploration of ideas.
The Bottom Line
Small children and toddlers should engage in some specific types of play, based on their development stage. Parents can spruce up the opportunities for building new skills by addressing their developmental needs, their interests and skills, and what you want them to explore. When you are well-aware of particular cognitive skills, it will be easier for you to select the best educational toys as the vista of endless possibilities opens before you.