In the first years of their lives, more or less everything that happens around children will influence their skills, abilities, personality, character traits, emotions, interests, even worldviews etc. So, in the early years, one of the most important things for every child is playtime because playing keeps them engaged and helps satisfy their curiosity for the big world that surrounds them. In other words, through playing kids learn about everything that surrounds them, as well as themselves.
Because of all of this, it’s important for us, as parents, to take advantage of this ability of our children to absorb everything around them and create an environment in which they will be able to master new skills, an environment that will encourage their development in a healthy, safe and entertaining way. When we are talking about playtime, we are not only referring to playing with toys. Playing also includes singing, dancing, colouring, hearing stories, and so on.
However, for playtime that will make a real, positive impact in the child’s life, we need to learn how to choose the right toys and games, to find products that will help boost their motor and cognitive abilities in the right way and will keep them safe.
Types of Toys
Choosing toys can be really hard for every parent, or anyone who has ever tried to buy a gift for an infant or a toddler. Where do you begin? Good manufacturers and retailers will tell you which toys are best suited for which age. But once you know this, before buying baby play toys, you need to think about many other factors safety, materials, quality, and so on. It is also quite hard to talk about types of toys, mainly because they are so diverse.
Naturally, every time you buy play toys for your child or for someone else’s child, the most important thing is to make sure that the products are made of non-toxic and harmless materials and overall safety for that age. However, when you are buying toys according to the purpose they will serve in the child’s development, there are many other things to consider. There are several types of toys that are proven to be good for young kids – in terms of development, but also in terms of safety and health.
One of the most common toys for young kids are dolls. While you, like many others, may find them creepy, dolls are actually great for children’s development. As you know, dolls have long been considered to be a gender-specific toy – specifically, they were considered to be a girl’s toy, we now know that they are beneficial for children’s cognitive and emotional development.
As we are slowly catching up with the incredibly complex way in which children learn, we now know that because dolls look similar to babies, they help them learn about themselves and their bodies. That’s why nowadays, you can not only find dolls with different ethnicities but also anatomically correct dolls. Furthermore, there are dolls designed as sleeping companions. In other words, these newborn toys can soothe the baby by mimicking the closeness of the caregiver, with sounds like heartbeats and breathing.
Wooden toys are as diverse as any other type of toy. With a range of toys appropriate for all ages, wooden toys can be the perfect choice for developing children’s imagination. In many ways, these toys are considered to be the safest option. For one, unlike plastic toys, with wooden toys, you can be certain that they don’t contain chemicals like BPA or PBC. Moreover, you can get non-toxic and safe child play toys from reputable manufacturers that make their products with sustainability and fair trade in mind.
Amongst the many appealing things about these toys the one that probably stands out the most is their beautiful and diverse designs. Wood is one of the oldest materials used to create toys for children, and nowadays the choices are incredible. There are wooden infant activity toys, educational toys, figurines, blocks, puzzles, construction sets, trains and other wooden toy vehicles, as well as toys for different activities, such as wooden musical instruments or bicycles.
Rubber can be another safe choice for materials for toys for young children, especially because they are softer. The most important thing when buying rubber toys is to make sure that they are free of any harmful chemicals, especially because kids tend to put their toys and their hands in the mouth.
The most common rubber toys are teething toys. However, there are also great educational baby playing products made of rubber. They are often a realistic miniature representation of animals. Because of that and because they are made in vivid colours they are also great for two of the senses they are just starting to learn about – sight and touch. Playing with the toys the child will feel the different textures, lines, bumps, etc. under their fingers, and looking at the vivid colours and interesting shapes will help them improve their vision and focus.
Safety During Playtime
There are many products that can help you keep your newborn safe while she or he is playing. These include infant seats, bouncers, activity dens and cots, playmats, walkers, etc. But the importance of these products is far greater than that. Aside from providing the child with safety, these products are made in a way that encourages them to crawl, reach for things, grab, kick, etc. In other words, these products primarily designed to keep children safe, will additionally help them learn about their strength and increase it, about their limits and abilities, develop and satisfy their curiosity, improve their motor skills, get a better understanding of their senses, etc.