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Toy’s And Development
- Bella Coreas
Toys are fun and any child, no matter the age, will attest to that. Toys have the potential to teach in many ways as well as play a positive role in a child’s educational, social, emotional and physical development. “Play is the mechanism by which children learn how they experience their world, practice new skills, and internalize new ideas and is therefore the essential work of children”(Guyton, 2011). Physical, emotional and mental capacity are all a direct correlation of the environment a child grows in, especially the types of toys used during the child development stages. Genetics will play a role in the child development process and there are other factors as well that will be influenced through learned behaviors while playing with toys such as; family structure, nature surrounding/ environment, and basic education concepts.
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In the early years of life, children learn through play and interaction with family and friends. “Children are like sponges, ready to absorb any bit of knowledge that comes their way. With that in mind, toy stores have begun to carry more toys, games and plush animals that promote not just basic learning, but, more specifically, items that convey the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and caring for the environment” (Levin, 2013). When children start to approach the preschool age, they begin to learn about numbers, letters and language skills. There are a lot of toys that motivate this type of learning, from basic alphabet puzzles to high-grade technological electronic gadgets. Modern day technology affords us the opportunity to have the school age child on your mobile device or tablet while you are grocery shopping for dinner. Toys of this type are positively influencing the development of your child by giving them an advance of the things that they will be taught in school at a later time. Children that are in school can adjunct their learning while having fun with educational toys. Giving a child the opportunity to have fun while preforming repeatedly, from the things they are learning in school, will amplify their retention with the things learned. When your child finds an educational toy that she or he really likes, she or he will be more likely to play with it, thus reiterating the things they have learned. Toys are necessary tools that are basic instructions for a child development in thoughts fantasies and creativity. As the child gets older the toys began to change, but the same learning in taking place just on a higher level. Once beyond elementary school and onto middle school the child begins to explore classes like wood shop, keyboarding, and home economics. These are all from the foundation of toys and play. Middle school is also where a child can start to partake in extra-curricular activities like the chess club, basketball and robotics. All of these activates can be built upon at the high school level as well. The learning is even more enhanced because now the repetition of the play as a preschool child has begun to improve your technique and you have mastered the skill for years of toys and play. While learning through play for many years you development a team of peers who also enjoy playing with the toys with you. These peers are commonly referred to as your friends. This makes you play more enjoyable and gives you someone to also evaluate the success of you play with yourself. Play aids in the social development as well and as the child grows through playing with toys so does their social development. Many studies find that play is positively related to a host of cognitive and social skills. In the recent CNN Opinion article, (“want to get your kids into college?”) Let the children play, Erika Christakis and Nicholas Christakis shared the following: within the act of play, children learn to share, defer there gratification, bargain or negotiate conflicts, problem solving, share goals, obtain flexibility, and live with disgruntlement. By authorizing children to walking in another person’s shoes, imaginative play accurse and seeds the development of empathy, which is a key component for intellectual, social, and emotional success. The real “readiness” skills that make for an academically accomplished kindergartener or college student has as much to do with emotional intellect as it does with academic preparation. Kindergartners require not just sight words and lower case letters, but also the knowledge and know how when it comes search for meaning. The same can be said of 18-year-olds, as admissions officers at several different colleges like to say, an entire freshman class may be filled with students that possess perfect grades and test scores. Academic advancement in college requires readiness skills that exceed mere book learning. It entails the ability to involve actively with people and there philosophies. In short, it needs a deep connection with the world. For a five year-old, this assembly begins and ends with the creating, questioning, imitating, dreaming, and sharing that characterize play. When we repudiate young children in play, we are literally refuting them the right to understand the world. By the time they progress into college, we will have denied them the opportunity to fix the world as they would see it.
Securing a child’s educational and social development through toys and play also connects the emotional development. Playing is important to children; it is the way they practice and prepare to grow up. Toys are the tools children use in play, they can be a high tech purchase or they may be as simple as a kitchen pot, pan lid or paper sack puppets. In fact, you may have watched infants open presents and notice that they spent more time playing with ribbon and wrapping than with the toy inside. Conduced within play children develop skills called, executive function, the main characteristic of this elevated level brain activity is the ability to self-regulate. When this area of the brain is well established, children are able to regulate their emotions, behavior, and are better able to counterattack impulses, and have a greater amount of self-control. This will decrease the amount of incidences in school when the child is not given what they think they deserve and reduce the opinion of harsh or unfair treatment. Self-regulation is an essential skill for success in life, children need unstructured play time to mature these abilities. There are many toys that help with the imagination of a child; just about all types of toys help with some form of development when it comes to a child’s inventiveness. When children are interactive in play, they use their thoughts, dreams and fancies for creative-thinking skills all to explore and discover the many structures a toy has to offer. Encouraged experimentation, can be used in a variety of ways, and utilized inversely every time. There are several different toys that foster creativity when it comes to involved pretend role-play, such as action figures, adventure play sets and dress up. It is just as imperative as the type of toy making sure there is enough time to play with them. Children need time to get there mind set for their interactive play and the process that it in tales, their creativity cultivates along with other developmental skills. Art materials foster creativity and appreciation of beauty.
Sadly, many children spend more time watching television, not attending academic focused programs or lack of adult directed lessons. It is much more beneficial to be playing with friends outdoors, creating, and being crafty with various materials, building with legos, blocks or playing make-believe. Through mutual play with toys children are also taught many more life lessons rather it be through materials, friends, or outdoors. Outdoors play often forester the development of the child physically. Physical development through toys also enhances the overall child.
Children also develop in many ways including through physical, mental and interactive play. According to a January 2007 clinical report in the journal “Pediatrics,” “play contributes to the cognitive, social, physical, and emotional welfare of a child or adolescent (Moore, 2007). Physical development encompasses your child’s motor skills, which are those that require him to move his body. Motor skill is split into fine motor skills and gross motor skills, both being of equal importance. Gross motor skills encompass the coordination and control of large muscles like walking, sitting and running. Fine motor skills(or manipulation) encompasses the coordination and control of small muscles skills like holding a rattle, picking up crumbs or scribbling with a pencil and pen. Physical development affords children with the abilities they require to explore and network with the world around that surrounds them. Young children’s physical growth first begins as muscles gain strength while a child gradually develops coordination. The development of muscular control is the first step in this process. Toys are very valuable at this point because they are developing the muscle that you child needs to survive when doing everyday task such as sitting up in a chair or writing. These chores are bound to you throughout life and for the duration of your life. This is when toys such as the walker because important and as the child gets older the toys that is simulated to look like a lawnmower that you push while walking are important. Motor skills are a necessity in life and toys aid in the development kick ball helps with your motor skills as well as grabbing the mobile from a child crib. Motor skills are a learned sequence of movement combined to produce a smooth, efficient action in order to master a particular task. These toys generally have a cause and effect that will encourage muscle movement. “Teachers can maximize opportunities to build new skills by being mindful of where children are developmentally, what their interests are and what skills they, as educators, want children to learn” Moore,2009).. Parents being the first teacher a child will come in contact with need to know what type of toys will promote motor skill development. There are many other varieties of toys that foster creativity, as well as toys that consist of pretend role-play, such as action figures, and adventure play sets, these toys also stimulate physical development. It is just as critical to make sure there is time for children to play with their toys. During the play time of a child they begin and continue to play as their creativity will grow along with the development of skills. Hardwood blocks teach children about geometry, shapes, balance and gravity when the towers come crashing down. This will also help build muscle strength. Outdoor play equipment builds muscles and confidence that the child can meet physical challenges in everyday life. There are also experimental materials like sand and clay. These flexible toys offer the child control as they shape and distribute the materials. Materials like sand and clay appeals to a child’s senses. It develops the child’s sense to sight and especially touch.
Children will all admit that toys are fun, but toys are tools that are used to help children learn about themselves, as well as the world around them. Healthy play is critical for the growth and educational development, social, emotional, and physical development of children. Through play children also learn to solve problems, to get along with others. To develop the fine and gross motor skills that are needed to grow and learn to preparation them for adulthood. The challenges of toys prepare children encounter what cards life may deal them and reminds them that they have already solved that problem while it was not so alarming to them. The answer then came when they were calm and experience that best time of their life- the answer came during their play time with their toys. Now that can take of any challenger that life brings them. “As we move forward into this brave new future of play, those who are most effective may well be those brave individuals who see themselves as students and accept that they simply don’t get it. Once done, they can begin the process of either educating themselves or allying with those who do” (Richard 163).
Christakis, N. &. (2010, Dec 29). What To Get Your Kids Into College?Let Them Play. Retrieved from CNN.com: http://www.cnn.com
Gottlieb, R. (2013). Do You Get It? Plaything , 163.
Guyton, G. (2011, September 25). Using Toys to Support Infant-Toddler Learning and Development. Retrieved 2013, from Young Children.
Levin, A. (2013). Toys that Teach How a Healthy Lifestyle Can be Taught Through Play. Plush and Toys, 168.
Reifel, J. (2006-2012). Brain Research and Development. Retrieved 2013, from Education.com: http://www.education.com/reference/article/brain-research-child-development/
Toys to boost Child Creativity. (n.d.). Retrieved November 6, 2013, from The Creativity institute: http://www.creativityinstitute.com/earlychildhooddevelopment
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