Research have supported the theory that various toys is great to support the learning and developmental process of infants, toddlers and young children. Parents and people involved in the development of children should choose those toys that are suitable for a child’s age and cognitive abilities.
One of the most important aspects in the development of infants and young children is their ability to explore their environment. Toys that are age appropriate will therefore be a vital tool to promote exploration and is very beneficial to young children. During the development stage infants will over time become toddlers and preschoolers. This means that they will start developing social skills when they play and learn with their peer groups. Toys are a vital part of this process to promote and encourage further exploration.
The early exploration stage is where babies experience the world and discover things through playing with toys that is age-appropriate. These toys could include the following:
· Teething toys
· Colorful toys
The toys must grab their attention immediately. By the age of one they will have more sophisticated developmental skills and could manipulate more advanced-level toys. The learning process will develop their cognitive abilities and the early learning skills will integrate with new developmental skills.
Toys making sounds, such as musical toys, is ideal to develop the idea of cause and effect and their cognitive and emotional skills. Musical toys could include a host of different items, from homemade to shop bought. They must however remain age-appropriate and get changed as the child gets older.
Toys assist toddlers and young children to develop their imaginative skills through pretending and reflecting the child’s interests, family and environment. When they reach age 2 and 3 the child will begin to assert their independence playing with more engaging toys. This means changing those items they used for something totally new. The selection of new toys is part of a developing personality trait as well as gender. Parents will normally encourage the selection of toys conforming to their gender.
Age-appropriate educational toys assist young children to develop the ability to process information, develop vital problem-solving skills and symbolic thinking. This is normally toys that involve stacking blocks and similar type of toys. Building or creating something this way is effective for their development of problem-solving and spatial visualization skills. Another advantage is that it improves hand-eye coordination. Play dough is ideal to develop a child’s ability to use their imagination and make shapes.
Puppets develop a child’s imagination and help the children bringing pretend characters to life. Puzzles, on the other hand, develop the cognitive development of young children.