What are the Benefits of Educational Toys for Infants and Toddlers?
Every parent wants to give their child the best start they can, from when they are first born through to when they leave home and become adults to ensure they get the best opportunities possible. Children of all ages, especially infants and toddlers love toys and we often forget that they are key and help to support your child’s learning and development.
Educational toys may seem that they are different to everyday toys but they actually aren't. Different toys for children help with different aspects of a child's development from supporting movement, problem-solving, language, numeracy, motor skills, social interaction, creativity, communication and much more.
When your child is ready, a nursery school is a great way to support their ongoing development, prepare them for school, give them confidence and independence, as well as enable you to go back to work, or have some downtime which is healthy. The Flowers Day Nursery is a nursery school in Swansea that provides exceptional care throughout the year. Offering flexible childcare options from 3 months to 8 years old. Contact us today if you are considering nursery schools for children in Swansea or the surrounding areas.
What is Classed as an Educational Toy?
Educational toys aren’t always about numeracy or literacy, they are aimed and designed to stimulate a child’s mind to advance their learning and support their development.
Throughout a child's life, they develop in a number of ways. Physical, cognitive, and social development are the three key stages in a child's life and a child's development is measured by milestones, which are specific behaviours or abilities that indicate how they are doing.
As each stage of their development proceeds, it is important to keep in mind the foundation that was laid earlier. Social skills, for instance, cannot be developed without mastering communication skills, and learning new information requires cognitive abilities and cognitive skills such as memory and attention. Often, growth and the learning of new skills are described as cumulative, with each milestone representing a significant step forward for an infant or toddler.
Always remember that every child is unique and will develop at different times in their lives and if you are worried at any time speak to the nursery they attend or to your healthcare professional.
Playing with a variety of different types of toys allows children to develop a wide range of skills as we’ve noted above, giving them different learning experiences which will have an impact on their learning and help them in their lives from being babies, preschool children, through to primary and secondary school age, equipping them with essential skills that they won’t necessarily gain from a classroom.
There are many benefits of educational toys including, improving reasoning skills, problem-solving, communication, motor skills, as well as creativity in children through different aspects of playing and learning. These often help them in emotional situations as well, giving them essential life skills that they will use every day.
According to Shonkoff et al. (2008), children between the ages of 0 and 5 are particularly sensitive to positive and negative experiences in life because their brains are much more easily influenced.
Children's brains develop in all areas rapidly during the early stages, and their experiences have a significant impact on how their brains develop.
The importance of encouraging positive and uplifting life experiences can't be overstated when it comes to brain development. Toys also play a key role in children's learning that things don't always work, which is crucial to how they approach different situations in their lives.
What are the Characteristics of the Child Development Stages?
Communication & Language
The development of communication and language is a key stage in a child's life. During social development, a child plays with other children, interacts with people, and explores places. From the moment they are born, babies need social interaction to enhance their development and teach them how to respond to others. In the beginning, babies communicate with sounds before they are able to speak and understand what is being said. Intellectual development is closely linked to this type of social growth.
Communication and Sound
Toddlers, or even earlier than this begin to understand and use language. During this time, they quickly learn identification skills by learning how to communicate their needs, as well as how to understand what others are saying. A child's social development begins at this stage, and it lays the foundation for all future interactions.
Communication skills are developed by children from birth. Their needs are communicated through sounds and gestures from an early age. Their understanding of words increases as they grow older. Most children are able to have simple conversations by the time they are in nursery. When they begin to talk it's a few words at a time and this progresses extremely quickly as their vocabulary expands and learn how they are able to communicate their needs through language.
Cognitive development is influenced by language development. In order to organise and express their thoughts clearly, children use language. As a result, they are able to remember information and the things they have learned. Strong language skills prepare children for success in school and in life.
Personal, Social & Emotional Development
A child's personal, social, and emotional development is an important stage in his or her development. Emotional understanding and expression are learned during this stage. It teaches them how to form relationships and interact with others. A child's development at this stage lays the foundation for future social interactions in school, work, and life.
The development of social skills in children starts as soon as they are born and they begin to interact with adults in a simple back-and-forth manner. Playing games with other kids, sharing toys, and taking turns becomes a natural part of their development as they grow up. Most children can follow basic rules and cooperate with others by the time they reach nursery and preschool age.
Cognitive development is influenced by emotional development. Understanding and regulating emotions helps children focus on tasks and retain information better. In school, at work, and in life, children can succeed by developing strong emotional skills.
A child's physical development is another important stage. As children develop their gross and fine motor skills, they learn how to control their bodies. It teaches them how to move, how to use their hands, and how to coordinate their movements. The foundation for future physical activity is laid at this stage of a child's development.
Physical skills are developed in children from an early age. From birth, they begin to engage in simple movements of their faces, arms and legs. Their bodies and movements become more coordinated as they grow older. Most children can walk, run, jump, and throw by the time they reach nursery school age.
Physical development plays an important role in cognitive development. by developing strong gross and fine motor skills, children are better able to focus on tasks and retain information. By developing strong physical skills, children set themselves up for success in school and in life.
Toys whether they are named educational toys or not help with all of the key developments from birth through to the teenage, even adult years. A mobile above their cot allows them to move their head, eyes, arms and legs to see it moving around. Lying babies on the floor with toys ensures they are inquisitive and try to reach out, feel, touch and listen to different sounds.
Motor Skill Development
As they grow older and are able to sit up and move around more, toys help them with their motor skill development including their fine motor skills.
Motions and actions of the body's muscles are considered motor skills. Running around, picking things up or moving things are a natural way for children to develop their motor skills.
As an example, stacking cups and building blocks enables them to work out how to pick up, how to put down, and how to balance things. They won't be able to build immediately but it helps them work out how they can and by watching you do it they will learn, have fun and laugh when they all fall down. The colours of building blocks are also a great way to teach them colours. Children's motor skills can also be strengthened through toys that encourage motor skills and hand-eye coordination, such as shape sorters and threading beads.
The ability to problem solve is a skill we learn in childhood and carry with us throughout our lives. The skills we learned as children will serve us well in the workplace and in our personal lives as we encounter problems and seek solutions.
Children are born with the ability to solve problems, so fostering this skill from an early age is essential and toys will help them develop this skill. Try and stop yourself from solving it for them and encourage them to find the right shape to fit themselves. Independent, confident, and happy children are those who can solve their own problems.
In order to initiate independent problem-solving, children can use educational toys to engage their logic. Magnetic construction kits, puzzles and balancing blocks are all examples of toys and games that help children develop the ability to think creatively and adapt their thinking which is a key life skill for them. .
There are certainly some advantages to today's digital world, but it also has some negative downfalls due to the amount of time children spend in front of screens. Children are increasingly interacting digitally and not developing social and problem-solving skills due to tablets, smartphones, and digital learning methods.
There are many social and educational benefits of educational toys and in order to learn how to make friends, hold conversations and have positive relationships that encourage play and interaction with other children they are extremely important. Learning to interact socially at an early age is an important skill that will help them throughout their lives.
In addition to promoting communication, compromise, and patience, social interaction toys usually develop confidence and self-esteem. Interactive team toys, such as dress-up costumes, arts and crafts, and finger puppets, are perfect for this. Using such toys also encourages creativity and the sharing of ideas, enabling children to talk to a variety of people with confidence. They also support their hand-eye coordination which is a great skill to learn early on.
In order to draw, write, or read, children need to learn hand-eye coordination to track and synchronize the movement of their hands.
As children coordinate their eyes and hands to stack items, stacking toys, such as building blocks, also supports the development of hand-eye coordination. Balls and puzzles are also great hand-eye coordination toys.
As they get older, construction kits and lego, footballs, rugby balls, basketballs, and cricket are all great toys for hand-eye coordination. As well as helping you lay the table, laying their clothes out in the mornings and many daily activities all help them develop hand-eye coordination.
The best type of play for creative thinking is the messiest! I know we all dread this at home but messy play improves and enhances their creativity by cutting, crafting, drawing, make-believe, modelling, painting, and pasting.
The ability to think creatively has become a highly sought-after skill in adulthood and employers because it can positively influence life and business decisions - both big and small as well as help them as they grow to find solutions to problems themselves, and master the art of concentration and focus.
Colouring and sticker books, playdough, painting, Lego, and Duplo are some of the toys available to help children develop a love and passion for being creative.
The moment a baby lets out their first cry, they begin to communicate and from this, they are learning and developing their communication skills which is a fundamental part of everyone's life.
As communication throughout everyone's lives is vital, it is important to teach children how to communicate confidently and clearly as early as possible. Helping develop this skill will decrease their frustration when they can’t tell you how they are feeling or what they want as they are growing up.
Children learn how to communicate primarily through listening to their parents, family and teachers and copying their words, however, a variety of toys will also help them develop and enhance their communication skills quickly.
Children can develop communication skills by playing with counting or sequencing toys and finger puppets. In their early years reading books with lots of pictures really helps with their communication skills. Reading to children regularly at an early age is extremely powerful as it enhances many development skills. When you read a story to a child, you are giving them your full attention and telling them that they matter. Self-esteem is built, vocabulary is expanded, imagination is stimulated, and sleeping patterns are improved as a result. Despite this, fewer than half of 0-2-year-olds are read to every day or nearly every day by their parents. Embedding reading into their lives at an early age as well as them seeing you read is a key to their social, communication, listening, creativity and vocabulary skills right through to secondary school.
Most toys are educational for your little one from birth through to nursery, preschool, primary and even secondary school and it is amazing to see how much joy and development they get from them.
About The Flowers Day Nursery
At the Flowers Day Nursery, we are passionate about the critical development of the children in our care, through toys, learning, meal times and play. Our team of qualified nursery school workers will support your child's development and enhance everything they have learned and are learning with you at home. We develop positive and strong relationships with you as parents and the children we care for and monitor their development throughout their time with us.
What can you expect from the Flowers Day Nursery?
Your child's readiness for nursery is one of the many decisions you need to make as a parent.
If your child is not currently attending a nursery setting but is showing signs of being ready to expand a little, you might want to consider it. Despite your feeling a little uneasy about being apart from your child, the transition to nursery is a very positive experience for them.
The Flowers Day Nursery team is committed to providing a professional and caring setting for all our children.
Our early years nursery environment can really help with your child's confidence and development. Here’s how:
There are lots of advantages to positive social interaction with other children of a similar age, including; learning to share, making new friends of a similar age, communicating, listening, learning from their friends and much more. Starting nursery with us will support their ongoing development and prepare them for starting school in a positive and engaging environment.
Interacting with children of their own age is a vital skill and our qualified nursery practitioners will support your child in developing their communication skills, both verbally, written and listening, their vocabulary and language will quickly progress with the interaction and activities that are planned each day.
Interacting with their peers and other adults, as well as communicating their feelings and opinions, is essential to their development. It also gives them a chance to develop empathy and a greater understanding of other people's feelings by playing with other children.
Confidence & Independence
It can be daunting for you both the first time your child is away from you for a short period of time. Nonetheless, once they are settled, it allows them to be independent, explore and form other relationships, which are crucial for their long-term development.
Their own personality will develop through the independence they gain and their confidence will grow. They will gain confidence and build a foundation for school and life after school by learning to complete basic tasks by themselves, participating in activities and spending time with others.
The Flowers Day Nursery provides an array of stimulating and engaging activities, resources, and experiences to engage and stimulate your child. It encourages your child to try new things out and develops his or her interests because there are so many different things to discover and explore. It’s an exciting new addition to their life and the best part is that you don’t have to worry about messy play!
In addition to learning new academic skills at The Flowers, they will also learn and develop socially and emotionally every day. They will quickly learn how to put on their own coats, eat with supervision, wash their hands and so much more.
Structure & Routine
Our nursery provides structure and routine to your child's day, including meal times, naps, and indoor and outdoor activities. Once they are settled they will be more confident and secure, feel in control of their feelings, and will be better prepared for when they start school. Knowing their routine and what to expect enables children to take an active role in tasks, for example washing their hands before lunch and helping tidy up before going home.
Your child will have the opportunity to participate in activities, learn new things, and explore the outside space at our nursery. This helps build children's physical stamina and encourages the development of large motor skills, which will be necessary for school and beyond.
It will seem a long way off but it will come around quickly. At The Flowers Day Nursery, your child will take part in a variety of activities and routines when they are with us. Enabling them to learn the skills that are needed and that will prepare them for starting school which will ease their transition.
Learning to Learn
Providing all of these benefits for your child helps to build a strong foundation for his or her future. In our nursery, our children develop critical thinking, problem-solving, being social, tenacity and confidence, as well as providing them with a positive disposition to learning which will help them through their school, college, university and adult life.
Located just outside Swansea City Centre, we have our own parking facilities, ensuring your children are both safe and easy to pick up or drop off.
The Flowers Day Nursery offers flexible full-day and half-day sessions to meet your needs. Children can join us as early as 3 months old up until preschool age, and then up to 8 in our before, after and school holiday clubs, we also do drop off and pick up from the local schools.
We have been providing childcare in Swansea since 2004 with our caring and professional team. In addition to food hygiene, child protection, and first aid certifications, we require all of our carers to have a minimum of Level 3 Childcare certification.
Our home-from-home environment supports your child's emotional, physical, cognitive, and social development while making them feel safe and happy.
We are open Monday through Friday from 7.30 to 18.30 except on Bank Holidays and we can accommodate additional childcare sessions due to work commitments and sudden changes in plans.
We accept childcare vouchers and support local government funding schemes that assist with the cost of childcare.
Contact Us Today
If you are looking for a Nursery or Preschool place for your child, contact us today at 01792 46 44 45 and one of our team will be happy to answer any questions you may have and arrange for you to come and visit us.