The Role of Educational Toys in Your Child’s Development

As a parent, it’s important to give your child the tools they need as they learn important skills and become increasingly aware of their environment. These tools come in the form of bright, colourful, and high quality educational toys that will keep your child fascinated. 

Educational toys will play a crucial role in your child’s development. No matter their age or interests, you’ll find educational toys that correspond to their developmental needs. 

Educational toys for your child’s development 

Educational toys help babies, toddlers, and children enjoy different types of play to aid in their development. Here at Teachers Choice, every toy in our shop has been specifically designed to help children learn different skills at various stages in their development. 

As a general rule, educational toys should be safe, simple, and fun to play with. Whichever toy you choose should also be aligned with your child’s interests and appropriate for their skill level. 

To better understand the role of educational toys in your child’s learning and development, it helps to know the different types of play babies and children participate in at different stages of their young lives.

Different types of play 

Babies, toddlers, and children engage in all kinds of play depending on their skills, abilities, and interests:

1. Exploratory play

Play is often more physical for small children in the early stages of development. Babies, in particular, learn about themselves and the world around them using the five senses. For example, a child might reach up to a baby mobile hanging over their crib to find out what it is. They inspect this toy by touching and looking at it. This also helps them gain more control over their fine and gross motor skills. 

2. Manipulative play

As the term suggests, this type of play has to do with manipulating toys and playing around with different shapes, structures, colours, and sensations. This type of play helps children improve their physical dexterity and hand-eye coordination.  

3. Pretend play

Also called “imaginative play”, this type of play allows a child’s imagination to run wild and lets them act out certain roles. Different kinds of pretend play include dress-up, make-believe, story-telling, and more. As children get older, pretend play becomes more complex. They may also act out stories and scenarios they get from the adults around them. Costumes and dolls are great for pretend play. 

4. Creative play

This type of play satisfies a child’s need for self-expression and creativity.  It encourages children to use materials like moulding clay and coloured sand to create things.  This helps them fine tune their manual skills and explore their creativity. 

5. Constructive play

Children learn to build various shapes and structures through constructive play. It gives them the opportunity to learn how different components fit together as well as how to make a toy or object work. This helps them hone their cognitive skills.  Wooden building blocks are perfect for constructive play. Children can arrange and rearrange the blocks to form a larger structure. 

6. Games with rules

Children can create or follow existing rules to reach the goals and objectives of the game. Some games can be played independently while others can be played with similar-aged children, or with you. When played with others, children learn the value of cooperation and fairness. Puzzles, cards, and board games where participants must establish or follow rules can provide a good mental challenge. 

Learning about different types of play at various stages of your child’s development will help you initiate the kind of play that your child is most likely to enjoy and benefit from. 

Age-appropriate play (and educational toys) at each stage of development  

Now that you’re familiar with different types of play, you must also learn which types are appropriate for your child based on age:  

Sensory motor stage – Babies engage in exploratory play as they become increasingly aware of bodily sensations. 

Pre-operational stage – Toddlers participate in pretend play as they learn to process words and images without yet having the ability to control or manipulate them.  

Concrete operational – Children from age 7 to 12 can start appreciating games with rules once they are able to develop logical thoughts about various toys or objects with the ability to manipulate them. 

Formal operations – From the age of 12 and over, children start to think in abstract terms about the world around them, with concepts like time, justice, and personal values easier to grasp. 

Help your child grow into confident and capable individuals by providing them with the best educational toys depending on their needs. Teachers Choice gives parents access to quality toys. Browse our collection of educational wooden toys today.  

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