How Do Toys Affect A Child’s Development? Here Is All You Need To Know
It is always a rule of thumbs that if your child plays a lot, then this will greatly have an impact on her development in almost every aspect. Be it social, cognitive, emotional, language or psychological development in your child, the toys that your child plays with are crucial to their enactment in the child.
Your children’s toys are therefore not just items for having fun, the kids learn from playing with the toys too. At such a young age, children are just sponges, absorbing every bit of information they come across. These are then used to create synapses (connections between brain neurons), which then contributes to holistic child development.
Researchers and Scientists often characterize children as their fellow little researchers when playing with their toys. They test ideas, create and evaluate hypotheses and use these to solve apparent problems.
1. Music Accelerates Brain Development
From the time when they are born, babies have a natural instinct of listening to music. Music has therefore been used to soothe babies and children, express our love to them, engage and interact with our little ones.
It then comes as no surprise that music has a big impact on how the children develop from a tender age. Music improves a child’s social skills, as well as accelerating brain development.
In a study done in 2016 by the University of California at its Brain and Creativity Institute, it was found out that music indeed accelerated brain development. Music does this by encouraging the baby to acquire reading and language dialect skills.
Better still, a report by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM) showed that children who learn to play musical instruments improve their mathematical skills and their general IQ standards.
In addition to improved academic excellence, music has other effects on your child’s development. It makes the child ready to start going to school, develops language, motor and social skills too. Music has a way of making the body and mind work in unison, as they should.
In addition to providing tremendous joy to a child, dancing to music tunes allows children to self-express, strengthen their memory skills and establish motor skills.
2. Improved Hand-Eye Coordination
At infancy, newborns have short eyesight and do not know how to use their hands. Most of the time, newborns even startle themselves when their uncoordinated hand movements hit them by surprise. Her poor vision does mean that you have to place bright colored toys close to her eyes so that she can figure out how to play with them.
Luckily, the more she plays with different types of toys, the better her eyesight becomes. Once she can see things for what they are, she then learns to hold the toys and balls into her hands. After a short while, she starts to shift the toys from hand to hand.
During bath time, place colorful balls in the bathwater and let the baby try to catch them. Later put the balls into another bucket. By using their hands to hold the balls, then their eyes to trace the bucket in which you put the balls into, the baby develops hand-eye coordination.
For slightly older children, they can roll, kick and catch balls as ways of getting to improve the coordination of their various body parts.
3. Toys Help Stimulate a Child’s Senses
Playing with different toys stimulates different senses such as sight, touch, and hearing in your child. As you avail a variety of textured toys for your little one’s playtime while you stroke, cuddle and massage her, you are helping stimulate her senses of touch in a way.
Playing with rattles, or any toys that produce sound is a sure way of improving a baby’s hearing. Singing and talking to her contributes to this course too. With time, you will start to notice that your baby can associate you with your voice and tell if you are in the room or not.
For the eyesight, you need to hang a mobile filled with brightly colored and highly contrasting toys on the cot. As she concentrates on a particular object and follows it with her eyes from side to side, her eyesight becomes better.
It is these senses that help us as adults to figure out our surroundings. As adults, if we find something we don’t know well, we first take a look at it from afar then touch it to see if it produces any sound. It is therefore essential if your child learns it while still young.
4. Toys Can have an Impact on Children’s Career Choices in Future
The topic of toys and the impact they have on the career choices is a complex one. There are those who believe that there is no correlation between the two, while some argue that a relationship does exist.
Based on an article written by the an article written by the BBC, the different toys you give your children impacts different messages to the kids. It teaches both boys and girls on what is appropriate for them to do as well as having varying educational contents.Always provide your child with a toy that makes her happy and not one that is gender or interest related. In this way, he/she will develop wholly and enjoy the benefits of play.
It is always a common practice among parents to give gender-specific toys to our children. In one way or another, the boys play with action, machinery and construction oriented toys. On the other hand, the girls play with dolls and toys that are feminine oriented.
Further on, research did also show that people (60%) who work as designers and architects or any other design-oriented job played with toys such as building blocks when they were young. Another 66% who played with puzzles work in math-related jobs.
However, this stereotyping of toy and gender leads to suppressed interests in our children. The girls are limited to cookery, tea sets, and pink princesses, while the boys limit themselves to construction and racing car toys.
5. Toys Promote Social Skills
Babies play with one another and their toys, albeit with little communication. This type of play is called “parallel play” and forms the basis of future interactions for preschoolers. As they start to interact at an older age, the kids put together their experiences into kid stories.It may worry you, but they are developing a critical aspect of their social skills. So, do encourage playdates where your preschoolers bring home other friends for an interactive play. There might be occasional showing off of toys, but that is normal and part of the process.
In the process, the children learn to cooperate, negotiate and share their thoughts. When your kids are playing together, you will notice that they sometimes disagree on who should play with a given toy or who should not. Or the occasional struggles of who plays “mommy” or “daddy.”
The immense number of toys you have invested in for your child is not a waste of resources. These will contribute immensely to her overall development from a newborn to a teenager. You never know, the toys might also inspire your daughter’s future career choices.
Most importantly, avail a variety of these toys that come in different textures, colors, shapes, and play difficulty levels. This will help your child to be all rounded by knowing how to handle toys in all forms. So, how do toys affect a child’s development? There you have almost all the possible ways.