Play is the most natural thing to a child and through play children learn. There is a wealth of gadgets and gizmos and toys for us to choose from. Here are a few ideas to choose toys and games to encourage your child’s growth in a range of areas.
Multiple player games. There are lots to choose from. Any fun game that encourages turn taking and communicating is good. Role play activities are good fun and also games that encourage team work such as a treasure hunt played in teams.
Imagination and development of empathy
Role play toys such as toy kitchen, pram, lawn mower, food, cars, garage, farm yard. Match your child’s interests. Even better give your child your old house hold items such as old tea pot, pots and pans to experience real life items.
Dice games and games that require counting on and back eg: snakes and ladders. There are many to choose from. An abacus is a fun way to encourage counting and develop understanding of number. Free play with the beads is a fun way for children to learn naturally.
Fine motor skills/control
Threading beads on a chain or rope. Crafts that involve cutting and using both hands to control movements.Water play- pouring water from a jug to a cup.
Early writing skills
As simple as giving a few crayons and a piece of paper. When children begin to show an ability to ‘mark make’ this is your child showing the very early signs of writing . Mini white boards are great as are chalk boards. Children also love drawing on the ground with chalk so let them go wild on your patio.
Early reading skills
Label objects around your home using post-its and as your child points look at the words together. Ask questions eg: can you find the window? Where can we see that word? Matching games. Buy some, or make your own. Write out some labels and have some objects for your child to match. Have lots of books easily accessible to your chid.
Playing pairs. A game where you find and match like objects by memory. Card game ‘snap.’
Problem solving skills
Give your child a scenario eg: this car needs to get across the river. How can we help? Build a bridge together with blocks. ’Guess Who’ is a fun game where children will begin to develop their thinking skills. Jigsaws are great too. Check out @toysnaturally for some beautiful jigsaw pieces and other toys.
There are some great activities for babies too. Check out @BabaMe for some lovely gift ideas.