At Collab&Play we really believe in the importance of play. The last decade has seen the importance of play studied and measured to show that play is not a waste of time. Play helps children develop their physical, cognitive, and emotional strength while using their imagination and creativity. At Collab&Play we encourage play with the help of toys.
At Collab&Play we have an abundance toys. The toys we list below are the ones that the children in our space gravitate towards.
When children engage with toys by using all their senses (vision, smell, touch, hearing, and taste) a foundation is being laid down for children to build their cognitive skills.¹
Every child seems to come through the door with their own Sophie the Giraffe. This toy appears to be the must have toy of this decade. It works great as a teether, squeaks when squeezed, and has contrasting colors to catch a child’s eye. It is still a toy that older ones like to play with well into their second year of life because it is a cute giraffe.
Sensory balls are great for sensory play. These balls rattle and ring, provide different textures, and are colorful. Long before your little one is able to throw mastering holding onto a ball is a big accomplishment for them. This ball is a favorite amongst the children working on their grip.
Little ones can be so responsive to music. This little music box is great because it helps develop cause and effect. When you see a baby make the connection that this toy plays music because they pressed the button, it is such a magical moment. This toy has short renditions of classical music so it doesn’t aggravate the adults that have to listen to it over and over again.
Another favorite we see is this musical book, the children enjoy hearing the different tunes and musical sounds. This provides more variety and self discovery for children because the various buttons lead to different experiences.
For the musical prodigy that will not settle for just hearing recorded songs, this toy drum set is for them. It includes different percussion instruments. This is a popular item for group play with our children because the older kids can play the drum or tambourine and the littlest baby can shake the little egg.
Part of the appeal to bringing your child to Collab&Play is that they get to interact with other children. We encourage group play. Many of the children get excited when we break out the pots and pans along with the fruits and veggies. There is usually so much variety that a young infant may be attracted to one particular toy while the older toddler engages in pretend and make food for everyone.
Another favorite for group play is the bucket of animals. Younger children will gravitate to one at a time and some love to play with the bucket. The older children engage in pretend play and learn about different animals.
When children manipulate their environment to create things, they are engaged in constructive play. This kind of play develops imagination, problem-solving skills, fine motor skills, and self-esteem. Children love to stack items and knock them down as well. At Collab&Play we have a variety of stacking items such as rings, boxes, and cups.
Mega Bloks are a constructive toy that will last for years. Younger children may be interested in just one or two at first but then they learn the power when they combine to form structures.
There are so many toys out there for the next generation to enjoy. These just happen to be some of the favorites of the children that have passed through Collab&Play.
- Cognitive development and sensory play <http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/cognitive_development_and_sensory_play
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