Parents might not spend a lot of time thinking about the make-believe learning toys they provide to their kids, but maybe they should start. A closer look at play time shows that different types of toys stimulate different types of child development. "For kids, play time is more than just fun and games. Play time provides kids with a safe way to experiment and learn about the real world without all the risks associated with the real world. Play time is actually productive time proven to develop talents, character, social skills, language skills, creativity, emotional strength, intellectual capacity and self-discipline. "To help parents consider the impact of different types of make-believe learning toys and the impact those toys have on child development, here is a list of different learning toys that are known to stimulate make-believe play.
1. Dolls and dollhouses available today can be amazingly life-like, which helps kids to imitate real life and role-play with members of their pretend doll family. The emotions and bonds developed during this play time are real. Little girls can get very much attached to their dolls as they practice loving and caring for another person.
2. Stuffed toys are great tools to teach imaginative play and role playing, especially during the toddler years. It is during these years that kids begin make-believe play where their stuffed toys come alive. Many kids develop strong emotional relationships with their stuffed toys, which makes it a warm, significant relationship in their early years.
3. Puppets are designed to facilitate role-playing and acting. Playing with puppets helps kids define and explore relationships in a safe environment. Unlike other toys based on established characters, most puppets are based on unknown characters, which provides a blank slate for kids to use their own imagination to develop and define the character and its relationships with others.
4. Transportation toys such as cars, trucks, trains and airplanes allow kids to take their imagination on trips across town or across the globe. Transportation learning toys remove geographical boundaries to expand imaginative play into new frontiers. Kids can enjoy adventure-filled trips to new places without leaving home.
5. Play kitchen and house toys such as a pretend vacuum cleaner offers kids a greater sense of self-esteem as use the same heavy-duty equipment and tackle the same jobs around the house as mom (and dad?).
6. Costumes are the ultimate make-believe toys for role playing. Costumes such as cowboy clothes for boys and ballerina costumes for girls take them directly into the pretend realm where their dreams all come true.
7. Theme sets provide a pretend setting for real-world situations such as grocery store cash registers, ATM machines, play food sets, and play doctor sets. Theme sets help kids to understand the world around them and motivate them to learn more about these real-world encounters.
Perhaps the best way for young kids to learn is by reading books aloud to them allowing them to interact and participate in the stories. However, after books, make-believe learning toys promote child development in many different ways.