What Are the Educational Benefits of Our Wooden Toys?
Toys are a fundamental part of a child's life. They are critical for physical, emotional, intellectual and social interaction. At the Wooden Toy Store we pride ourselves on sourcing timeless and enduring wooden toys and puzzles that help children get the best start in life. Our wooden toys will encourage and stimulate a young child in the following vital areas of brain development:
- Problem solving
- Creativity and imagination
- Stimulating senses
- Hand to eye coordination
- Social skills
- Learning to read and write
- Instilling confidence
- Discovering the world
- Fine motor skills
- Physical development
Problem solving wooden toys help young children learn to work toward achieving a goal and gain confidence in their ability to work things out for themselves.
Problem solving is at the heart of the thousands of basic decisions we make every day. Young children who learn to figure out solutions to their problems develop curiosity, patience, and have an enhanced ability to work and play with others. The ability to solve difficult situations will also build positive self-esteem and self-confidence. In addition, young children will develop essential ‘thinking' skills such as flexibility and an understanding of ‘cause and effect' relationships, when they are faced with a wooden puzzle, game, or challenge.
Creativity is the ability to see things in a new way, to see problems that no one else may even realize exist, and then come up with unique and effective solutions. Standard intelligence tests measure the ability to come up with a single correct answer. But creativity involves the ability to come up with new and unusual answers.
Imagination is the ability to remember, dream, create, improvise and, in the process, entertain oneself anywhere and anytime. Imagination is important because it integrates a child's feelings and dreams and actions. It's a place where a child can experiment and feel control and power. Not only does imagination help a child deal with emotions more effectively, it also helps a child handle problems. Research shows that a child with a developed imagination has a greater ability to deal with stress and upheaval.
Creative wooden toys and puzzles help children develop their senses by exploring colour, texture, shape, and form whilst imaginative wooden toys boost a young child's ability to think and understand the world.
Stimulating wooden toys encourage a young child to look, listen and touch.
Helping to develop a young child's senses will help him or her make sense of the world – the senses will eventually lead to being able to do things like reading, writing and counting. Wooden toys that encourage children to look, listen and touch are great for providing a greater understanding about their environment. For every experience a young child has, a new pathway is signalled to his or her brain. And the more a child's experiences are reinforced, the faster he or she will develop the senses. Young children are naturally drawn to bright colours, intriguing sounds and different textures. And this stimulation of senses is, in fact, vital for intellectual development.
Wooden toys that encourage hand to eye coordination help children to use their eyes to direct attention to a task, and to use their hands to effectively execute the task.
From penmanship to tying a shoelace, hand to eye coordination is a very important skill. It's something young children will use every single day for the rest of their lives. Studies have shown that spending time on hand to eye coordination activities improve a child's ability to learn to read and lessen the difficulty a child will face during the process.
Wooden toys designed to encourage manipulative play such as grasping, aiming, tracing, digging, and fitting pieces together all boost hand to eye coordination. Jigsaw puzzles are very good hand to eye coordination developers, as are wooden blocks or tower toys that encourage playing and coordination. These toys help children learn what items can fit on top of each other and which ones will stack easily.
Social wooden toys help a young child learn how to make friends and enjoy company.
Social skills enable children to cooperate, have their needs met, communicate effectively, be happy, and have fun. In addition to being generally agreeable and well attuned to the social context, socially competent children are responsive and able to mesh their behavior with the behavior of their play partners. Important social skills include daily interaction skills such as sharing, taking turns, and allowing others to talk without interrupting. Children with good social skills are more likely to be popular and less frustrated.
Wooden toys that encourage sharing and show the benefits of cooperation are key tools for building social skills.
Wooden toys that encourage shape and sound recognition and involve matching pictures with sounds, letters and words are a great foundation for learning to read.
Hearing favourite stories, looking at word and picture books, playing with interactive books and talking about reading all help children want to read for themselves. Each child reaches their own stage of 'reading readiness' when their ability to recognise shapes and sounds, concentrate, communicate, and other early learning skills really come together.
Writing is a key skill, which enables children to express themselves and succeed at school. Good writing skills start to develop years before a child writes their first words. A child needs many early learning skills to start writing. At three or four, groundwork such as shape-recognition, copying and tracing patterns is useful.
Toys that encourage copying, precision drawing and word recognition are fundamental in the 'pre-writing' stage. Toys that motivate and reward accurate letter and word copying and making writing practice fun are useful later on.
Confidence is essential for every kind of learning and activity. Confidence helps children become cooperative, communicative, keener to try new things, and feel happy whatever they're doing.
Wooden toys carefully designed to reward effort and encourage success are great tools for instilling confidence.
Discovering the world as a fascinating place is a crucial basis for intellectual development, and enjoyable and successful school years. From around three-years-old children start expanding their horizons. They have a natural curiosity and an urge to understand their world.
Wooden toys that satisfy their natural curiosity and engage their attention encourage children to find out more. They enable young children to discover new animals, people, places and countries.
Wooden toys and puzzles which encourage fine motor skills will help children use their hands for precise movements.
Fine motor skills are those that require a child to manipulate and gain control over a range of materials and tools. Fine motor control requires awareness and planning for the execution of a task. The development of fine motor skills is crucial to a young child's ability to experience and learn about the world and thus plays a central role in the development of intelligence. These skills are also the first step towards learning to write, draw, thread and trace. Fine motor skills can be boosted by (for example) holding crayons or brushes, using scissors, placing with precision, and selecting small objects.
Wooden toys which encourage physical development will help a young child develop coordination, balance and strength.
From birth, babies express their feelings through their bodies, and strive to move. As they grow, young children improve coordination simply through practice. Physical play teaches children to judge distances, understand scale, and become aware of the space they and others occupy. Children who enjoy lots of physical play are likely to be strong, healthy and confident
Toys that encourage young children to reach, stretch, pat or wave, and children to run, jump, climb and balance, all help physical development.
This article was written by the Wooden Toy Store Team. Please feel free to use it in it's entirety with the inclusion of the Wooden Toy Store as the author and a link to www.woodentoystore.co.nz