Parenthood brings unthinkable joy and makes every parent go the extra mile for their child. In a series of five blog posts we are going to tackle the most important subjects related to child development, all documented using reliable sources. This way we hope to start a conversation within our community and share our experiences as parents.
We have all seen it, the ‘Ipad Generation’ where you see children, of perhaps eight, asking their parents ‘Can I please have the Ipad?’ and to not anger your child you just agree. However, there was a time without Ipads and other devices that distracted us. There were toys. In this short article I will explain why toys have a positive impact on your children and how it can help them with their development.
Picking the toy will be an interesting process, moreover it will show you as well what your child is interested in. Once your child has the toy, the toy will be a reflection of your child. Meaning that all of their imagination will be projected on this object. Playing with a toy is mostly a mental activity. Defining that the toy is there as an extension of their imagination, this way their imagination becomes more real. Furthermore, a toy is associated with attachment and nostalgia. This attachment will make the child care for the toy and learns how to be responsible for this toy.
In addition to character development, building creativity is of equal importance. A toy is a great way for children to discover what they like and dislike and how they develop their own sense of creativity. At the age of 7-11 years old, children already have quite a general knowledge of what they like and dislike. However, at this age, children tend to like what everybody else likes as well. This comes from near influences, such as classmates, friends, nieces and nephews and the internet as well. However, this fades over time when they grow older and start to build their own characteristics not based on the general popularity.
The age of 7-11 is also the time where parents are very aware of their childrens’ behaviour. Such as, is my child more independent and likes to play alone, or are they more restless and easily distracted. Other behaviour can show whether the child is considerate and likes to play with everyone and that everyone can participate, or is it a child who has problems with other children. Such as, fighting with the other children or is always rebelling against the other children. All of these behavioural standpoints can be seen when children play with toys.
In conclusion, the age of 7-11 is a time where children still are developing and even though the influence of the internet is big, this does not mean that toys are not of importance. Even more so, this is the time to still play with toys, since we will see here how the children will develop and how toys will impact them.
Character toys as psychological tools by Elena O. Smirnova
On tools and toys: How children learn to act on and pretend with ‘virgin objects’ by Hannes Rakoczy, Michael Tomasello, Tricia Striano
Final report from the primary phase: Pre-school, school and family influences on children’s development during Key stage 2 (7-11) by Kathy Sylva, Edward Melhuish, Pam Sammons, Iram Siraj-Blatchford, Brenda Taggart