Play is a most natural way for children to express their feelings, and learn moral and social principles at the same time. When chosen wisely, toys are great tools to accomplish all these through play. Toys enhance the quality of the play while having a major role in the child’s inner world. Sometimes they can be an admired character, a best friend, or the one thing they connect with. You need to keep in mind, however, that the relationship between toys and children evolves by age, and the desired aspects will vary accordingly.
The quality of the material affects a child’s health more than you would think. To avoid unwelcome consequences, you should always go for toys that are made of natural materials like wood instead of toxic ones. Another thing is, babies often put their toys in their mouths. So preferring toys that are long-lasting and easily washable will also be a good idea.
Considering balance in every aspect of life is favourable to mankind. Contrary to common belief, possessing too many toys may have negative effects on a child’s development. Several articles based on scientific research signify that increased quantity often comes hand in hand with decreased quality. Fewer toys mean an increase in cognitive performance. Plus, it is associated with reduced attention deficit. With fewer toys, children can play for longer periods, and more creatively. So it would be wise to make sure the toy you are buying is actually necessary.
The right kind of toy should benefit a child’s overall development. To make sure that happens, you need to consider their interests and skills according to their age. If the toy is too advanced for the child’s abilities at a certain age, it may result in low self-esteem or feeling of inadequacy. Likewise, if it’s too simple, the kid will get bored. Moreover, it may lead to a short attention span due to playing with each toy just for a little bit and then picking a new one.
Toys can appeal to different kinds of skills.
- Toys made out of household items help them socialize and develop empathy skills so they can learn to share,
- Natural materials like stone, sand or pine cones improve their naturalistic intelligence,
- Sports equipment for them to climb or swing improve their physical confidence and competence,
- Legos and construction toys like unit blocks increase the development of fine motor skills,
- Cloth dolls or puppets improve imagination,
While shopping for toys, the ones that will negatively affect the moral development of the child must be avoided. You should also watch out for toys that contradict Islamic values and impose other beliefs or ideologies. You should lean towards the ones that will expand the child’s perspective and encourage them to use their brain.
It’s a wonderful idea to make your own toys instead of buying manufactured ones. Hand-made toys are both more child-friendly and more valuable. You don’t have to buy expensive toys to spend quality time with your child. You can just make authentic ones and have fun with simple materials. Besides, it will accompany your child when you’re not around. This is one way to become your little one’s playmate.
Here is an example of the right kind of games to play. Enjoy!
A Game: Wholesome Words
The cosy season is coming. So how about giving heart-warming compliments to family members?
First, attach a piece of white paper to the wall and stand in front of it. Light up your face with the flashlight so that your silhouette is reflected on the paper. A family member can draw your silhouette by tracing the shadow. Repeat that for each family member and hang them on the wall side by side. Now it’s time for conversation. Make positive sentences for the owner of each silhouette. Simple but wholesome words will favour everyone. You can mention what you most like about them, or the last time they made you laugh. Every child deserves to belong to a family and be reminded of that.
- Your drawing is so good!
- You are always nice to everyone.
- Your smile is beautiful.
1) Egemen A, Yılmaz Ö, Akil İ. Oyun, oyuncak ve çocuk. ADÜ Tıp Fakültesi Dergisi 2004;5:39-42
2) Aydın, Semra(2020) Oyun arkadaşım olur musun?. (İstanbul, Timaş çocuk)