Having fun is one of the smartest things we'll ever do in our lives. Play paves the way for kids to learn, build, create and imagine – skills we'll use throughout all of our adult years. As a parent, it's important to not only make time in our children's schedules for play, but to take time as well to share games and toys with them. Make it a family affair!
Toys promote physical, emotional, social, creative and intellectual development. Playing with toys helps kids make sense of the world, understand how things work and communicate and interact with other people.
From the first shake of a rattle to a complex chess move, toys and games are important at every age and stage of childhood development. Every toy is fun and holds the possibility of teaching something big or small. However, it is important to choose toys that maximize learning while having fun. Consider your child's interests and abilities and pick toys that will encourage and bring out different aspects of his or her development.
Here are popular categories of games and toys and just some of their many benefits:
Board and card games in a variety of levels teach cooperation, social interaction and logical thinking. They also develop memory, attention to detail, reasoning and problem-solving skills.
Art materials offer open-ended, creative play with things such as paints, crayons, clay, paper, colored pencils, beads and many everyday household items.
Construction and building toys contribute to understanding shapes, space, dimensions and cause and effect. And they aid with development of fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Puzzles and puzzle games stretch the mind with abstract thinking, color and shape matching, problem solving and sequencing. A finished or solved puzzle provides a sense of accomplishment.
Physical play toys such as balls, scooters, bikes, balance boards and flying disks improve gross motor skills, balance, coordination and strength.
Pretend play sparks the imagination and develops storytelling and acting skills with puppets, dolls, figures, vehicles, stuffed animals and dress-up clothes.
Children's books foster a love of reading and shape language, vocabulary and comprehension skills. Reading with or to a child is a time for quiet and bonding with parents.
I could go on and on, of course, about toys and their benefits. But see for yourself. Visit FUNdamentally Toys and peruse our large selection of specialty and educational toys. It's one of the smartest things you can do for yourself and your child!