Toys and other stuffed animals are not only fun and a good company, they can actually be essential for the early learning abilities of children. They can help learn colors, shapes, basic motor skills and much, much more.
“Toys have played a significant role in almost everyone’s life,” says Cathy Miller, a former foster mother who now serves as national spokeswoman for the UglySnuglies toy line to the HartsvilleVidette.com. Most of the time neither the parents, nor the children realize this and think of the toys simply as something fun.
“We all have memories of playing with a special toy when we were children. Maybe we slept with a stuffed animal that was worn from use. Perhaps we created elaborate battles in the family room with a platoon of plastic soldiers”, she adds. This is how we view toys, but all of these games and even emotional connections we have made with them, have big implications on how we develop.
Actually it is not only good for parents to let their children play with toys, it is essential and should not be replaced with lessons and trainings. A study by Case Western Reserve University points out that when children play with toys they develop their imagination and this is important for growing up. “Children sometimes just need to be children,” says Miller. “One of the UglySnuglies is called Pouty Pig and it’s a bank, which encourages children to save,” she says. “But children could play with Pouty Pig like they would any stuffed animal, whether they put any coins in him or not. They could give him whatever personality they like.”
This is where imagination and learning can come together. The Child Development Institute also says that all toys have some educational benefits. Parents can use toys to help toddlers learn shapes, colors. They can also use toys to teach preschool and school-aged children to count, to use the letters, to develop fine motor skills, to learn about the real animals from the stuffed animals they play with and many more.
So next time your child wants to play with toys, let him or her play and don’t worry. Toys will help with the creative and skills development, and can even help teach how important it is to take care of others, too.