What was your favourite toy growing up? Despite how far away we may be from our childhood, a memory or two may pop-up about our favourite toys and play time. On the converse, we may also vividly remember the toy we always wanted but never had. You may have just considered these fond or not so fond childhood memories but what you probably don’t know is how much toys influenced your education and how, over the years, they aided in the development of your physical and mental skills which were necessary in later life.

Experts have long confirmed that children learn by playing with toys. While entertaining, toys are also tools of education that provide happiness, enhance cognitive behaviour and stimulate creativity, both of which build self-esteem. We, at Shop876kids wanted to give you the 411 on how toys enhance childhood development: 

Improve Motor Skills

Playing with toys involves physical activity which finetunes kids’ fine and gross motor skills. Colouring or dressing a doll improve fine motor skills  like precision, while riding bicycles and playing outdoor sports develop gross motor skills like balance and coordination. Ultimately physical activity promotes health and wellness, building stronger muscles and reducing childhood obesity. Even from an early stage, babies reach and stretch and move the little muscles in their hands and legs to attain the toys out of their reach. They are playing, exercising, and learning to move, crawl and walk all in one.

Stimulate Cognitive Development

Toys boost creativity through pretend play, creativity is a critical success tool in life. Toys also enhance  concentration, memory and provide opportunities for children to solve problems. STEAM toys are specifically designed to stimulate cognitive advances but even your family fun board game can boost cognitive abilities as the race begins to think and act strategically to win. Check out our blog on What are STEAM and STEM toys for more information.

Enhance Emotional Development

Toys help children to express their emotions (internal and external). Role-playing with costumes for example give children the space to act out familiar situations like cooking, shopping and playing house or doctor. Children can also invent very imaginative other worldly experiences with action figures that enhance their abstractions. Practicing creativity enables empowerment for a child to create their own little worlds and that assists their ability in adulthood to weather various scenarios that require creativity and a positive outlook to survive and thrive. 

Facilitate Social Development

An educational toy especially enhances learning, language skills, understanding and facilitates discovery of the world around them, which are all necessary for living in a social world. When kids play in groups with their parents and other children, they learn how to share, participate & cooperate.

The Takeaway

Play time is important time, and toys are especially important to a child’s development.

A toy doesn’t have to be something you purchased in a store – but can be a myriad of things your child is interested in- they can even make their own toys. Do you remember juice box trucks with bottle cap wheels? or dandy shandy with a stuffed juice box ball? and let’s not forget Chinese skip where we would all search our homes and schools elastic bands until we could complete the skip. There is no limit to what can be used safely as a toy, note – a Green mango or any green fruit for a dandy shandy ball is NOT A GOOD IDEA!  Today’s child may however be more interested in our car keys, our mobile phones and very popularly, the TV remote. Before you hand over these precious items with possible dire consequences like messing up your DVR settings, lost keys, soaked phones or them inadvertently dialing the wrong, Wrong, WRONG number in your contacts check out our website www.shop876kids.com. Luckily, to the rescue- Shop876kids has a wide variety of toys including toy phones, tablets for pretend play. Fun activities can also represent a fun alternative to toys as well – Shop876kids has you covered with free downloadable play activities/resources like colouring pages and treasure hunt games to name a few. Check out our blog post- Free & Fun activities using the items in your house you already own!!

Did you know that toys were so important?

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