Custom Search
Ask an Expert
Get answers to questions about Gifted Children now to Dr. Sandhu, Ph.D in Educational
(Gifted Education)
University of
Cambridge, UK.

The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


The Importance of Play: Educational Toys Make a Difference

By Nicole Munoz

Playtime is one of the most vital parts of childhood development. Research has proven that all areas of development are enhanced through a child's play activities. Healthy growth and development is stimulated through play as early as birth and on into the school age years. Children play in a variety of ways with a number of different toys. Each activity has a different affect on development.

Newborns and infants enjoy a social play style that builds their trust as they prepare to explore the rest of the world. Babies interact with their parents and caregivers as they learn to bond with people and develop a basic understanding of emotions. Social games like peek-a-boo and pat-a-cake are common play activities for older babies and toddlers.

As young children grow, playtime is the biggest contributor to the healthy development of large muscles. Crawling, walking, and running all develop gross motor skills. Preschool and school age children develop socially, emotionally, cognitively, and physically through outside play. Childhood games of tag, Red Rover, and hide and seek are great activities to encourage healthy development.

The most beneficial play is initiated by the child. During free play is when most learning takes place in young children. A child's natural curiosity leads him to explore possibilities and test each one. A child playing with blocks will begin to stack them. Through this simple activity, the child is learning basic problem solving skills while discovering the effects of gravity and exploring sizes and shapes.

The earliest forms of play in childhood are functional play. A child will use an object for the same purpose over and over again. Through this repetition the child gains confidence in his abilities which will encourage him to do new things. Filling a bucket with sand and then dumping it out and filling it again is an example of functional play. During this type of play, children typically strengthen fine and/or gross motor skills as well as logic thinking.

Constructive play is common in preschool age children. A child playing constructively will create something through his play. This would include things like playing with blocks, doing art, or staging a puppet show. Galt's line of giant floor puzzles will initiate hours of constructive play to develop cognitive thinking, problem solving skills, and creativity. Group constructive play encourages team work and healthy social emotional development as well.

Pretend play is a very important part of healthy development. Most children pretend and role play from their preschool years through early elementary school. This type of play has a number of benefits to the growth and development of a child. Pretend play helps children process the things they see and hear each day. It invited children to be creative and to expand their imaginations. Playing make-believe strengthens language skills and aids in proper social development.

Children gain a strong foundation for learning through play. Playtime is fun. Young children love to explore and discover new things about the world around them and about themselves. Solitary play fosters independent thinking and problem solving while group play encourages cooperation and understanding. For healthy growth and development, children should spend most of their days in free play. Allow your child to play his way and encourage him to solve problems during playtime.


For more tips and information about Baby Einstein Discovering Water Play Gym, check out

Child Development

Back to Child Development Articles

Copyright ©2002-2020 by Hosted by BlueHost.
Privacy Statement :: Disclaimer :: Bookmark Us :: Contact Us