We were all kids once. As we grow, we often forget the wonder that once was the world around us. As children, everything was nice and everything, from our crib, to our bedroom, to eventually the outdoors was to be explored.
The memory of that wonder may not be as vivid in our minds as it once was, but that same awe is apparent in children today.
A child’s imagination is a powerful thing
Children and toddlers are gifted with a perspective that’s uninhibited by society’s laws or logic. They can set their imaginations free and impose them on their surroundings without judgement or ridicule.
This is powerful and as science uncovers more on the topic of children and playing, we’re learning that it’s vital to development.
Children’s imaginations are most active when they’re playing. This is why all it takes is a doll or action figure and some space for a child to go on an epic adventure.
What science is teaching us is that with the right tools, a child’s playtime can be harnessed for development and how to make that happen.
A child at play is a child in learning
Adults learn the rules of society through trial and error. We’re taught in the classroom, through social interaction and alone by reading. But, what about all the lessons we learn before that?
Where did we learn all the little intuitive things we often overlook? Things like our understanding of rudimentary social dynamics, spacial recognition and much else are learned from, you guessed it, playing as children.
When children are playing, they aren’t simply killing time. Depending on what they’re doing and what they’re playing with, they’re developing various skills that they can continue to build upon as they grow.
What types of skills do you ask? Let’s say your child is at home with his or her siblings playing with a ball. You may look at this and see several children passing a round object back and forth.
If you change the way you look at it, you’ll see several children learning how to share, developing coordination, and grasping an understanding of space as it applies to themselves, their playmates and the object they’re sharing.
All toys are not created equal
When talking about children’s imaginations AND playing, some activities and toys will just be better. Now, children have different personalities, likes and dislikes, so one size doesn’t fit all.
However, if we’re talking about a child’s playtime activity that lets them use their imagination AND develop skills that they can carry into adulthood, we’re talking building toys.
No matter the brand or shape, any toy that lets a child shape what they see in their mind fits the bill. Obviously, if the child is young enough for the pieces to be a hazard, keep him or her away. Otherwise, let them go all out.
It’s scientifically proven that building toys aid children in developing critical thinking, mathematical and spacial recognition and reasoning abilities. Fine motor coordination and planning are also a byproduct of manifesting the imagination with one’s hands.
What can you do to help?
If you’ve tried building toys and your kid wasn’t into them, there’s a good chance that ToyReviewExpertswill be able to give you some ideas.
Next time you send your child off an adventure, be sure to set them up for success by helping them develop skills en route to wherever it is their imagination is taking them.