Less Screen Time, More Play Time
By the time you’re reading this, in 2020, kids are watching screens and Youtube more than ever. According to a new study, children spend six hours or more a day on screens. If we recall our generation in the 80s-90s, this was not the case. The definition of “play” has evolved over the years and kids are spending less time outdoors than indoors watching cartoons and YouTube. Although there are some informative and educational media content available, nothing beats the traditional outdoor “play” time where kids get the healthy physical activity they need while strengthening their mental capacities by exploring their imagination outdoors.
Strengthen Physical Health
Children are constantly growing and learning so it is vital for parents and caregivers to continuously support their child’s coordination skills and creativity as they develop. One way to do so is by strengthening their physical health, by creating new opportunities through the outdoor environment experience and unleashing their imaginations to explore and discover.
As parents and caregivers, it’s our responsibility for the development of our children. It’s essential for our children to play with other kids to develop interpersonal skills. It’s equally important to hone our children’s fundamental motor skills by allowing them to explore the outside world and interact with mother nature, with supervision of course. Children are curious and constantly learning from their environments therefore it is vital that we create the appropriate environment for our children to help them develop essential personality traits such as confidence and creativity.
Toys for Babies
We know how eager our babies are to learn about the world around them. Their eyes light up to every new shape, color, texture, taste, and sound and all of this is a new learning experience for them. As parents and caregivers, we need to provide our babies with toys that are safe yet stimulating to help them discover their senses and build motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Try toys (ie. blocks and rattles) that have different type of sounds and contrasting colors to help develop their hearing and vision. Infants can explore object permanence while understanding the cause and effect relationships with these toys as they grow.
Toys for Toddlers
Toddlers are an interesting bunch. They can still play with the same toys and blocks they played with as babies as they are still discovering new skills and senses. It’s important to give toys that are designed with kids age in mind. A great toy for toddlers would be shape sorting toys and blocks which will teach them how to match items while learning the names of shapes and colors. This can be a great exercise for hand eye coordination, motor skills, and neuro activity as they learn about new colors and symmetry.
Toys for Preschoolers
It’s time for our preschoolers to learn about numbers, letters, and languages. You can find a variety of toys that foster this type of learning from alphabet puzzles to electronic gadgets. These toys introduce our kids to what he/she will be exposed to at school. Not only are these toys more fun and interactive, they’re also educational supplementing their learning skills both indoor and outdoor. Always give your child the opportunity to explore and use their imagination to their full potential. When your child finds a toy they really like, they’ll play with it and remember it, reinforcing the things they learned while playing with the toys.
Imaginations Outside the Living Room
We can see the correlation between mental well-being of our children and the type of activities they are exposed to. Play time should not be restricted to indoor only. As we have explored the variety of ways for a child to develop their interpersonal and mental/motor skills, it’s essential for children to explore their imaginations throughout the day whether it’s in the backyard or in the living room. We must understand that children are constantly learning from their environments and that we can control and guide them with educational and interactive toys to boost their growth.
Mom and Dad, what are you waiting for? Be the inspiration that your child needs. Our children are the best thing that happened to us, let’s ensure we provide the best environment and experience for our kids.
Learn more about toys that empower your child's imagination with outdoor play!