“The Importance of Play lies in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds”. American Academy of Pediatrics.
Gone are the days when toys were considered a luxury and not indulged in by parents because of the price factor. The ‘learning’ angle has managed to change that entire single handedly and the association of a toy with learning and creativity has reached new levels.
Entertainment has taken a back seat rather reluctantly while ‘learning’ is at the wheel. Motor skills are boosted, role-play and imaginative play enhanced and cognitive skills developed. The possibilities are endless and so are the toys.
Also today when you see Indian parents buying toys for kids in a toys shop, their focus is mainly on toys that foster imagination and creativity. Parents today prefer more open ended and educational toys for their kids. But do you think toys are a luxury or a necessity?
Toys are a must for a child when it comes to creative play and so very instrumental to help parents and children bond better. Toys like Lego toys, pretend play toys and much more are helpful in enhancing the creativity of the child. Looking especially in the Indian market, education is expensive so no wonder that most toys are educative and come with a nice price tag.
Toys have become a necessity simply because they enhance the development of infants. In fact, play is the most important factor when it comes to personal development. The question: When do you buy developmental toys for babies? The answer: Before they’re born!
There’s a thin line between necessities and luxuries in today’s fast paced world especially when it comes to children. What might appear to be a luxury for an adult might be a necessity for a child. That’s what makes parenting especially challenging. But toys are more of a necessity rather than a luxury and it’s essential to create a separate family budget for toys so that things get easier in terms of money management.
Consider this- If tiger cubs don’t wrestle and fight with each other in the wild, they’re never going to survive. Similarly, if children don’t play with toys during the early developmental years, they are never going to fit into the learning process where the ‘survival of the fittest’ theory is equally applicable. Unless playtime is free and unstructured, a child will not reach that critical milestone in terms of socializing with others.
Neither will emotional and cognitive development take place in the desired manner without toys. Toys and other construction toys can also help children deal with stress and enable them to become resilient to battle the emotional challenges which life will throw at them constantly.
Squeezing a teddy bear might appear silly to some. But it is vital to boost hand-eye coordination as well as to teach how a child should interact with one’s environment. Even chewing on a toy (non-toxic of course) is not inconsequential and must not be discouraged simply because it has a big impact on a baby’s mental and physical growth.
The best part about the best toys is that they don’t come with an instruction manual. Just hand it over to a baby or child and they’ll know exactly what to do with it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a comfortable blanket or a toy car or a stuffed animal, the kids will figure it out all right.
About the author:Charu Swaroop contributes to Toy Tasting, video review channel on toys by mothers. When time permits, Charu loves dreaming up and trying new dishes. She has been promising herself to get over her sweet tooth (since 2003), and to trek in Nepal (since 2009).