Youth Development With Educational Toys: The Purpose of Play
Developmental and Educational Toys
Toys are the tools of learning for kids; they are a way to help develop creativity.
Toys and play help children become the person they are going to be.
- Tami Jarecki, original owner of the Gingerbread House
Creativity is what we call having fun with our minds. By using our imagination to pretend and by painting, building, and signing, we discover new ways to think about things and express ourselves
Cognitive abilities are what help us learn about the world around us. We use memory, reasoning and problem-solving to take what we know and apply it to today's play in the sandbox.
There's nothing "icky" about gross motor skills. These are the actions related to larger muscles, like our arms and legs. When we walk, run and jump, we're using gross motor skills for balance and coordination.
Our emotional responses are the ways we react to situations we encounter in life. Whether we are happy or sad, surprised or mad, we must learn to control our emotions and express ourselves clearly to others.
Playing nicely with each other is what we call social development. Sharing, cooperating and taking turns all fall into this category, and are qualities that make people want to be our friend.
This is how we understand and recognize the position of objects in relation to each other. Spatial reasoning is important to excel in things like reading a map and doing a geometry problem.
For activities like drawing, grasping objects and using some tools, we use our fine motor skills. Our smaller muscles, like fingers, toes and eyes, are necessary for mastering hand-eye coordination and picking up sensory skills.
Our eyes, ears, voices and hands all play important roles in sharing what's on our mind and understanding what others are trying to tell us. As children grow up, they'll also read and write to communicate and learn about their world.