Why toys are important social tools
How children’s toys teach them important social skills
“It’s not what we have in life, but who we have in our life that matters.” – J.M. Laurence
The world has just celebrated ‘International Day of Friendship’ on 30 July. Proclaimed in 2011 by the UN General Assembly, the International Day of Friendship promotes the idea that friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities. It recognises the relevance and importance of friendship as a noble and valuable sentiment in the lives of human beings around the world, and nurtures the belief that if children learn to live together in peace and harmony, they will contribute to the strengthening of international peace and cooperation.
In young children, forming friendships begins with playing together. As we’ve discussed in other blog posts (link to the importance of play blog), play is a vital part of children’s learning and early development.
By age three, children are able to socialise and communicate with others, as well as share toys and ideas. And it’s through this interactive play that they begin to learn essential social skills such as expressing emotions, taking turns and sharing – skills that will play an important role throughout their lives.
How to develop your child’s social skills
- In the early stages, encourage the enjoyment of play by interacting with your baby, using baby toys and books. Laughing, smiling and joking will show your little one that play is fun!
- Even when your children are too young to play with others, it’s still good for them to spend time with other children of a similar age.
- As your children get older, encourage play dates that help them learn how to get on with other children in a social setting.
Give your children toys that encourage group play
Playing with toys together helps children develop social skills that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives. Examples of toys that lend themselves well to group and collaborative play include:
- Building blocks – allowing children to share and collaborate on building projects
- Road mats, toy cars and trains etc. – imaginative interaction and spatial awareness
- Kitchen/office and other ‘make-believe’ corners – great for imaginative role play and acting out social scenarios and emotions
- Board games and ball games – building a sense of fairness, honesty and competitive gameplay.
Truly Toys stock a wide range of good-quality toys perfect for sharing and socialising. To find out more about our educational toys for all ages, please visit our website or contact us for a quote: 011 618 1337 / email@example.com.
- International Day of Friendship – United Nations (https://hula-hula.co.za//www.un.org/en/events/friendshipday/background.shtml)
- Forms of Play – Child Development Institute (https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/play-work-of-children/pl3/#.W1_zpNIzbIU)
- Why Playing With Other Children is Important – Early Childhood Education (https://hula-hula.co.za//www.earlychildhoodeducation.co.uk/playing-with-children-important.html)