Looking for toys that will not only delight your child but also nurture his creativity? We list a few suggestions.
By Parama Gupta
The summer holidays have started and you are probably wondering how to keep your little one busy in meaningful and creative ways. Children love toys and the best way to keep them happily and gainfully engaged is by getting them toys that can spark their creativity.
Toys aren’t just fun for children but can also be educative in nature. Most toys impart learning at some level to children. By playing with toys, especially those designed for special purposes of teaching, children get a chance to use their creative skills. Their senses are engaged at multiple levels and they learn how to use their creativity to lend meaning to their play.
Here is a list of seven such toys which are not only enjoyable but will also help develop your child’s creative skills in different areas.
1. Building blocks
Building blocks of different shapes and sizes are a huge hit with preschoolers. Playing with blocks can keep the child engaged for long hours and create a good foundation for the development of STEM skills. Your child learns to put different pieces that fit together and can try out different combinations to create new structures every time.
2. Puppet theatre
Get your child an attractive puppet theatre and set the stage for exciting puppet shows. A few finger puppets or stick puppets come along with the theatre set and you can use them to weave new stories every day to keep your child enthralled. Let him take turns to narrate a story with the puppets. Later, you can ask him to make his own puppets and put the theatre to good use. There are unlimited possibilities for creative story-building with this simple toy.
3. Clay set
Clay modelling is yet another interesting activity, which helps children explore their creative skills. Get a multi-coloured clay set and watch how your child uses her creative skills to mould it into different objects. To ensure greater involvement and more meaningful play, challenge your child to make random objects of your choice, such as a three-coloured butterfly, a table and chair set, a colourful doll, a garden patch, and so on.
4. DIY craft kits
Simple hobby craft kits that involve making lampshades, painting pebbles, quilling crafts, glass paintings, etc., are easily available in the market under different brand names. These can turn out to be exciting playthings for your little one and make the artist in her come alive. However, in the initial stages, you’ll have to give your preschooler company while she makes these crafts as she will need your guidance to make use of the different items effectively. Also, you’ll have to be careful that she doesn’t hurt herself by swallowing any small object available in the kit.
5. Mini musical instruments
Get your child a few miniature musical instruments such as a little piano, a xylophone, a drum set, a trumpet, or a complete mini music studio, to get him started on a musical journey. Teach him the basic notes on a piano and show him how to make rhythmic beats on the drum. With time, you can slowly move towards more complex instruments, as he learns to use them. Encourage him to come up with his own tunes.
6. Mini figures and models
Miniature models of different kinds of domestic and wild animals, means of transportation, etc., are great playthings for a preschooler. These are inexpensive and can be turned into good learning tools. Not only will your child learn to identify different objects in her surroundings, she will also be able to use these figures and models in different play situations. For example, one day you can help her make a mini jungle for the wild animals and on another day, you can build a farm house with different domestic animals. Yet another day, you can build an elaborate track to race your cars or a railway line to run the toy train on.
7. Pretend play sets
Play sets like a mini kitchen collection, a teaching set, a doctor’s kit and an engineer’s equipment are a few examples of pretend play sets to start with. The little pieces in the set are sure to delight your child and awaken his curiosity. Encourage him to play different roles using the toys as props. This can be a great way to teach him about the different roles of a teacher, an engineer or a doctor and the responsibilities associated with each role. After a while, you’ll observe that he is able to imitate the role to perfection using his toys.
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A child’s world is full of imagination. All you need to do is to just fuel and nurture it.
Dr Priscilla J S Selvaraj
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