Through play, kids from a very early age engage, interact and master the world around them. As play continues and evolves, children develop new competencies and skills needed to face future challenges. When play involves others, children learn to negotiate, problem solve and advocate for themselves. And when play involves family members, relationships are strengthened and amazing memories are created.
Toys are the tools children need to do their job of playing. Think back to your first job. When you began, you were likely relived that some of the tools you had to use were intuitive. These tools reinforced competencies you already had, they helped you build confidence. Perhaps you even figured out how to use these tools for creative, new purposes! Other tools were probably totally foreign to you and you probably needed help to learn how to use them. With support and guidance, you came to understand how to use your tools and as you did, you internalized so many things about yourself. Your self-concept and identity expanded as did your concept of others. Your relationships and your social skills grew! Eventually, you mastered the tasks and challenges associated with that job and you moved on, in search of new challenges and new tools. Now look at you, you’re amazing! It’s the same when it comes to toys!
Toys facilitate play and play facilitates growth – physical, cognitive and social-emotional growth. The important thing is knowing which toys are appropriate for which phase of growth and why.
A jump rope to a seven year old is a lean, mean muscle and brain building machine. She’ll jump it until she’s panting and sweating and in the mean time, her sensory neurons are receiving visual stimuli from her eyes watching that rope pass in front of her body and they are sending action potentials to interneurons and motor neurons so she develops coordination to be able to jump over that rope just in the knick of time. The more she jumps, the stronger those neural connections get until finally, they are so efficient that they’ve practically wired together in her brain. At the same time, when she’s exhausted from jumping, that same jump rope now becomes a lasso used by Cowgirl Chloe to round up her friends in a game of cowgirl tag. She develops a kid crazy game where friends have to untie each other once someone’s been rounded up. Relationships get built, bonds get strengthened and creativity flourishes. But, give that same jump rope to a two year old and yes, they will drag it around and “play” with it but it won’t be serving them to the degree that another toy could.
Different aged children are working to develop different capabilities and the toys they play with can support their growth if selected with child development in mind. We at Fog Town Toys advocate for investing in a few quality toys targeted at the child’s current developmental stage and a few quality toys appropriate for the next stage of development in order to challenge kids and enhance the likelihood of developing skills sooner rather than later. At Fog Town Toys, we don’t support the overabundance of toys in a child’s home but rather advocate for having a reasonable selection of the “right” toys.
Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can help you make the best selections for the little people in your life based on age, gender identification preference and any special needs so your investment gets an excellent growth return.