As I’ve been learning more about how my kids develop and grow, I’ve found out that throughout a child’s development stages they actually use their toys to help them grow, develop, and gain new skills. It’s pretty cool!
1. According to Wikipedia, three and four-year-olds can hold crayons and markers using first two fingers and thumb in what’s called a tripod grasp. Reading this, it occurred to me that larger-sized animal toys are similar to holding crayons since they require the same sort of grasping and holding.
2. I also learned that setting animal toys balanced upright so that they stand up is a developmentally-related skill.
3. Other child development stages at these ages include language and social skills as kids narrate stories to themselves as they play with animal toys, as well as acting out scenes from daily life involving all sorts of social interactions.
4. Another thing I’ve noticed with my daughters is that they both went through a phase where sorting out their animal toys (horses seemed to be the most special, for some reason) and arranging them in various groups became important. Sometimes they would arrange their horses in long lines that they called parades. Just as often they would build corrals out of whatever was handy and put their horses in there. A lot of sorting, classifying arranging, and counting going on which was related to the child development stages that they were going through.
5. Also, as the girls emerged out of the parallel play of very little kids into the word of collaborative and cooperative play, their collection of animal toys became the currency with which they explored and figured out their new social skills. Needless to say it’s an ongoing process!
Animal Toys Work Great in Child Development Stages
Child development stages are a rich and complicated subject which are fascinating to learn about. While there are expert scholars and professionals who spend their whole lives learning about child development stages, there’s something special, up close, and personal seeing these processes at work in our own children. In a way, all parents become child development stages experts after helping their kids along the road of growing up.
Kids develop and grow up with or without toys and with or without our help as parents and adults, but just as we know that kids benefit immeasurably from our mindful presence and attention, we also know that simple, high quality toys – not a ton of them, and not necessarily the most expensive – will help them thrive.
The Wild Animal Store is here to help!