discovery toys blog of billie elias
Tips for parents who play with their children or who want stay-at-home income.
Toys for special need, autism, gifted and typical kids.

August 24, 2009

Why is Play Important?

Lane Nemeth knew that play was critically important when she founded Discovery Toys over 30 years ago. "Play is child's work; children play to learn, to grow, to experience the world around them" was the motto of the company for awhile.

Early childhood education expert Dr. Michael Meyerhoff tells us that "for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, having fun and learning are one and the same." Children are naturally inclined to be explorers, investigators and experimenters, and with the right toys in hand they are empowered to do what they are built to do. And guess what...while they're doing that, they're learning. When they build with blocks and the blocks tumble, they're learning about gravity and balance. When they line up a row of cars in size order, they're learning about size relationships. Completing a task, like assembling the pieces of an age-appropriate puzzle, brings a sense of accomplishment and self-esteem to a young child.

Play is like food...the diet must be balanced and you want to limit junk toys as you limit junk food. A healthy play diet should include books, active play, thinking/problem solving toys, creative/imagination toys, games, puzzles/patterns, and sensory/exploration toys. Parents must be there as partners in the process, putting the right toys on the plate, and offering guidance, encouragement and enthusiasm.

Come back tomorrow for suggestions of toys from each category of the healthy play diet.

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