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Traditional Wooden Toys
By: Tamsin White
It seems that unless a toy lights up, makes noise or is an exact replica of something real, or realistic as possible, then the toy is considered inferior. Or so toy manufacturers would have us believe. But does a babies doll need to have realistic crying, produce tears, to need changing, to be loved? Can more traditional toys still have a place for our generation of babies and children to play with?
This article explores the benefits of traditional toys against modern toys, with some surprising results.
The question is what the objective of the toy is, is it for play, or is to simply something to be sold for play? Branding of toys is becoming more and more fanatical, with TV shows settings trends for toy manufacturers who effectively tell us what toys to buy for our children, and our children regularly voice their opinions as well!
Traditional toys help to focus on how children learn and process information. The development of the mind involves language, mental imagery, reasoning and problem solving, and memory development. These skills are all needed at this stage as your child grows and develops, and educational, traditional toys are shown to assist with this development.
Cognitive development, the name for this type of learning is not a natural development, and needs nurturing. Such toys can be of real help here, allowing babies to recognize and choose shapes, colours, sizes and play with toys and puzzles that develop their cognitive skills and abilities.
You simply cant beat traditional toys for this; they by definition have all the branding, all the flash and distraction removed, to just leave the raw toy and the raw objective, with little distraction.
Fine Motor Skills
Often discussed but rarely explained; fine motor skulls are the small muscle movements that occur in detailed hand to eye co ordination. People with poor motor skills are often referred to as clumsy, but that is not always the case. For a baby picking up things form the floor, stacking blocks and reaching for things requires motor skills. Teaching these skills takes an element of patience and understanding.
Traditional toys that help babies and young children to develop their motor skills include wooden puzzles, shape sorters, puppets on string and similar toys.
Social development is perhaps the most important thing in education. Confidence to fit in and experiment by definition leads to a greater experience of life as we try and interact with new things and get new experiences. And this development may start at a very young age, and so should be encouraged. Imaginative role play allows for this, with toys that help your child pretend to be a builder, shop keeper, parent, look after a dog, look after a baby, dress themselves and use the telephone are great examples of how toys help our children to understand and interact with the world at large.
Of course, many modern toys also help with this interaction, and provide a level of realness and are by definition more related and relative to our modern world.
So in conclusion we recommend that your child should be playing with a mix of traditional toys to develop their essential skills and senses, and modern toys to help with their social skills and understanding of the modern world that we all live in.
A toy box with a mix of such toys is bound to give your child a great start in life, and ensure some favourites remain favourites for years, not just fad toys that change.
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