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The importance of toys in a child’s development

Plenty of evidence shows how playing with toys is an essential aspect of children’s development. Children of all ages enjoy playing with toys and the different roles toys play in their make-believe games and fantasy worlds. But toys are much more than simple playthings. Many studies have shown that children learn through interaction and toys offer hands-on learning possibilities that can instill basic skills that can benefit children for the rest of their lives.


Toys can be a good way to kickstart your child's play and support your child's development.

The best toys for children are open-ended. Open-ended toys are good because your child can use them in many ways. They encourage imagination, creativity and problem-solving skills.


  • Toys refine motor development

  • Toys encourage creativity and imagination

  • Toys improve cognitive development 

  • Toys teach children about STEM

  • Toys help with emotional development 

  • Toys help Children Think

  • Toys Promote Positive Socialization

  • Language and Communication Skills

  • Physical Activity

  • Play Helps You Make Friends

  • Play Builds Resilience

  • They provide entertainment while fulfilling an educational role



What toys help with childhood development? - Pegboard puzzles, nesting cups or blocks, and buckets with holes for different shaped blocks challenge hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills. Mechanical toys. Pop-up toys and "busy" boxes with knobs, buttons, and levers encourage fine motor skills and problem solving, and teach cause-and-effect.


  • Toys are objects that children use for entertainment while simultaneously exploring the wonderful world around them, constantly educating themselves, role-playing, and exploring how to best express their emotions.

  • Because toys can be used as symbols for other things, they have great potential for helping children understand bigger concepts.

  • The way your child uses a toy is often far more important than the toy itself. Thinking about how your child might play with the toy can help you decide whether it’s the right one for you and your child.



Choose toys that can be used in a variety of ways.

Toddlers love to take apart, put back together, pull out, put in, add on, and build up. Choose toys that are “open-ended” in the sense that they can play many different games with them. For example, wooden blocks or chunky plastic interlocking blocks can be used to make a road, a zoo, a bridge, or a spaceship. Toys like this spark their imagination and help them develop problem-solving and logical thinking skills.


Examples: 

  • Blocks

  • Interlocking blocks

  • Nesting blocks or cups

  • Toys for sand and water play

  • Magnetic Blocks

  • Kitchen Play

  • Vehicles - Construction play

  • Counting Tokens

  • Knob Puzzles

  • Stacking toys/cups

  • Felt Toys

  • Story Bags


Select toys that encourage exploration and problem-solving.

Play gives children the chance to practice new skills over and over again. Toys that give kids a chance to figure something out on their own—or with a little coaching—build their logical thinking skills and help them become persistent problem-solvers. They also help children develop spatial relations skills (understanding how things fit together), hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills (using the small muscles in the hands and fingers).


Examples

  • Puzzles

  • Shape-sorters

  • Blocks

  • Nesting blocks or cups,

  • Art materials like clay

  • Paint,

  • Crayons or play-dough

  • Pop-up toys

  • Busy boxes with Knobs



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