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 & Dollhouses
The ones available today can be amazingly life-like. It can help 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
They are great tools for teaching 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.
They 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. Try out this awesome road and railroad tape for your kids to push (drive) their cars and trains on. They even have railroad tape that looks like it's overgrown.
5. Kitchen & House Toys
Instead of getting your kids cheap little plastic toys like a fake vacuum cleaner get them a small broom (that is just their size). Use it to teach them how to sweep the floor nicely. Or how about a kiddie sized shovel for helping dad in the garden? Check out this awesome kid garden set.
Why not get them a small version of a baking set like a mini dough roller, measuring cups, and some small bowels? When you cook you can have them help with their small appliances.
With these options you will be teaching them daily activities and you aren't wasting your money on cheap plastic toys that don't even work and will brake.
They 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
They 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 to read books aloud to them. It will allow them to interact. It will also grow their imagination.