Learning with toys

With toys, children explore their world, discover how things work, encounter new ideas, build physical stren-gth and dexterity, use their imaginations, and learn to cooperate with others.

Good toys don’t have to be expensiveor even new! The only thing that really matters is that your child likes it. The relationship formed with the toy is what makes it educational. Good toys are appealing and interesting, suited to your child’s physical and mental abilities and social development.

Hands-on toys build coordination, foster curiosity about how things work, and encourage cooperation and problem-solving. Books and recordings help children to appreciate words, literature, and music. Art materials can foster creativity, building skills that lead to reading, writing and seeing beauty in life. What’s more, art allows your child to express himself long before he’s able to communicate with speech. This builds self esteem and a confidence in his ability to make himself heard.

The classic building block is durable and it teaches children about geometry, gravity, shapes, balance and proportion. It also encourages the natural desire to create. Construction toys build muscle strength and help children learn about science and numbers.

Musical instruments, furry things and things found in nature (like sand or water) are a great choice. Basic experiments help children to feel in control as they explore and offer a glimpse of how things in the world interact.

Different forms of play build different strengths and skills. It’s important to take cues from the choices they make. It will help you understand both what they want or need at a given moment, as well as provide you with helpful insight into the learning process. Toys that foster active play build strong muscles and the confidence to meet physical challenges.

Pretend play items like dolls, stuffed animals and action figures give children a chance to try new behaviours and dabble in the creation of a story. It is more beneficial when parents get involved. This experience broadens their understanding of how people work together and as individuals. They tend to be more intellectually advanced and socially competent than their peers and are better able to understand the feelings of others.

Consider the selection and variety of available toys as well. Be aware of what your child has to work with at his day care or nursery scho-ol. Keep the available equipment in mind when choosing the right facility for your child. Be sure the toys are safe, fun and interesting.