08/05/2020 03:49 PM IST
Young children are always learning. They pick up from people around them, they learn from what they see on TV, they learn from books and games they are introduced to.
So parents be very mindful of how you behave around your children, be careful with what you are watching, or allow them to watch and take time out to look for toys that stimulate all their senses and boost overall development in your child.
In the initial years of a baby's life, they learn through exploration. Babies have a curious mind and they use their senses to touch, feel experience new things they see around.
Toys that will help them improve their minds are (0 to 12 months):
1.Push and pull toys: these help your child build their motor skills and helps the child's mind to understand the concept of cause and effect.
2.A device with nursery rhymes: rhymes are normally fun with a lesson, children also associate with the sound. Their mind connects the tunes and the words and they learn new words as they enjoy the music/rhyme.
3.Rattle: this object helps them in building their grip. It also sensitizes the mind towards sounds.
4.Flash cards: Identifying objects: when children look at familiar objects at first they cannot make out however over time they learn to associate with similarity. Flash cards with shapes, animals, birds, fruits, vegetables, letters of the alphabet, numbers. It's never too early to start.
5.Stacking rings: Stacking rings help in motor skills they also figure out shapes and sizes. It helps build complex problem solving as they try to fit the right sizes one above the other.
As children grow older they need to be given toys that stimulate their mind, listed below are a few of the toys you can choose for them: (12 months to 4 years)
1.Motorized toys: these toys help improve motor skills they also help in teaching cause and effect. The mind also grasps different concepts like rotation/ revolution/ speed etc through these motorized toys.
2.Balls: all kinds of balls can be given to children be it a softball, football, or medium-sized throw ball. Balls improve gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
3.Puzzles: Puzzles help children in complex problem solving and helps the mind in improving concentration as children learn to be patient and to concentrate to get the puzzle right. Complexity will differ from age to age.
4.Toys that encourage role-play: toys like a kitchen set or a doctor set or themed Barbie's or stuffed toys. These toys introduce children to various roles and careers adults can have. These toys also encourage pretend play and aid in social-emotional development.
By the time a child is about 5-6 years old their motor skills have developed and they are now looking for toys and games that will intrigue their mind and make them think, the best toys for them at that age are:
1.Quizzes, Crosswords & Puzzles: They love winning and love challenging themselves and friends to see 'who knows most' - give them quizzes about world cuisine, capitals, monuments, wonders of the world. It opens their mind to a wealth of general knowledge. Crossword improves their grammar and language skills.
2.Lego blocks: Give them a Duplo/Lego set or plain simple blocks. They help children in gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination. It also helps children follow instructions and build innovative sets (homes/ modes of transport/ abstract art) etc. as they are more creative at this age and it doesn't have choking hazards.
3.Art and craft activity set: Art and craft helps build imagination in children, it improves fine motor skills and also makes them follow instructions as they need to colour in the given area or follow directions to build different DIY craft items.
4.Musical instruments: Introduce children to musical sounds by giving them child-friendly musical instruments. This encourages listening and fine motor skills and helps build attention skills in children. Music is also a huge stress buster and really opens up the mind as it has a calming effect. This is the right time to build a hobby around a music instrument.
5.Clay: Clay helps in teaching children about modelling different things, playing with clay provide a tactile creative experience, along with it being emotionally therapeutic. 6.Imaginative toys: Imaginative toys like our cartoon characters or superheroes inspire imaginative play and scenarios play out in a manner the child would have imagined it to. Building a strong learning base in children is important and it is in our hands to provide the right tools that become enablers of the same. While schools do their job of teaching, a child spends an equal amount of time at home and we should be able to pick the most appropriate toys for children that will be catalysts in improving the minds and help make the right synaptic connections. We hope this has helped you find the right kind of toys as per the age of your child, to improve their minds!