Choose toys that best suit your child’s abilities and interests
Before your child can play with a toy, they must be interested in it. Make sure toys are appropriate for their age and match their interests. It may take some trial and error, but eventually you will find what interests your child the most. You can then match toys, such as alphabet blocks, if your child enjoys building. This will aid their development in letter and sound recognition. As you want your child to be challenged and not bored, it is important that you choose toys appropriate for their age.
Search for toys that encourage heuristic play
Heuristic play refers to sensory exploration of everyday items. It is extremely beneficial for children’s development. This type of play can be promoted through the toys you choose. However, it is important that they can be used in many different ways. You can let your child be their own creative genius and make use of toys like bricks or building blocks, as well as arts and crafts materials. They can also be used as often as you want.
Many toys that are open-ended encourage STEM (science technology engineering and math) learning. This is a vital skill for life.
Why is heuristic playing good for children?
1. It encourages imagination and creativity
Their play with heuristic objects is guided by imagination, not muscle memory. A child may know that a button makes a sound when it presses a button. Heuristic play offers children the opportunity to learn, explore and develop in an entirely natural way through open-ended play.
2. It promotes brain development and gross motor skills in infants, toddlers, and children.
To support cognitive growth and development, infants and toddlers need a wide range of sensory exploration. They can do this much more easily with heuristic play than they could with toys that might limit their ability to develop.
3. It stimulates many senses and critical thinking
A child learns that when he presses a button in a book, it makes a sound. This sound corresponds with the context on that page. Children can create sounds by banging on different objects or knocking them against a surface using heuristic play. This, however, is different from the toy. They can then figure out the context of the sound by themselves. What would happen if this item was blasted with another item? These questions can only be answered by exploration. They are more useful later on in life, when children will need to learn skills like innovation and critical thinking.
4. It encourages mathematical conceptual learning in the early stages of childhood
The time a child spends exploring a variety of objects, which can vary in size, shape and weight, only enhances their mathematical conceptual learning. This is not the case with traditional toys. Children are less likely to explore if they know what the toy does.
5. It helps children understand the world around them, and encourages independence.
Heuristic play is very much influenced by the phrase “toys that actually do less, actually accomplish more”. This means that even the most mundane objects, which we may consider boring or not toys, can be a learning tool for our children. They learn to play and they begin to understand the world around them. Most importantly, with today’s children, they discover that they don’t need much to entertain themselves. Babies and toddlers learn to explore and handle these objects and begin to become independent and responsible adults.
Toys that encourage social skills and collaboration
Encourage your children to have as many social interactions as possible as they can from a young age. This will help them to build self-confidence, communicate well and be more open to others. You can teach your children important skills like negotiation, compromise, and sharing by choosing toys that encourage the development of social skills. Your children will develop new skills as they grow up, such as problem-solving and teamwork.
Choose toys that inspire imagination and offer opportunities for pretend play
Our children should engage in pretend play. It not only helps develop creativity but also promotes literacy and language skills. Toys that allow children to play different characters, act out new situations, and build their vocabulary and communicate are all great options. Play kitchen sets with pretend food, pretend money for shopping, and DIY and workshop sets will help your child grow up.
Look for board games suitable for your age that can help you improve your math and language skills
While board games can be very entertaining, they can improve young children’s math skills. No matter how many times you play them, they can help your child develop cognitive and math skills. Be sure to pick games that are appropriate for your child’s age. You don’t want them to be too difficult that they stop playing, or too easy that they stop learning or challenge them.
Toys that encourage exploration of real life
It is something we all do, no matter our age, and it is something we should never stop exploring, discovering, and learning about the real-world. Why not encourage your children to do the same? Children will love toys that encourage them to be outdoors, such as binoculars, bird books, bug-catching kits or science kits. This will help foster a natural curiosity that will last a lifetime. Children will enjoy hours of exploration and be able to ask a wide variety of questions, which is essential for critical thinking.
Educational toys that are engaging and challenging your child to discover and explore are the best. It is important to be involved with your child, because nothing is more beneficial for their growth than being able to interact and bond with their families while they play.