Walking through the toy department of your favorite store can give you sensory overload. There are bright colors, all sorts of shapes and textures and lots of toys that light up and make noise. If you have a child or children with you, they might find every toy that makes noise and turn them all on at the same time.
Scenes like that might make you long for the days when toys were simpler. While kids tend to pick up the most noisy or flashy toy when given a choice, simpler toys are good for them as well. Giving your child toys that require more of them than just pushing buttons gives them an opportunity to learn and develop physical skills.
Non-Electronic Toys Require Imagination
One of the drawbacks of electronic toys is that they require little imagination. While they may help teach your child the alphabet, numbers or shapes, they do little to encourage him to think creatively. There are toys that can accomplish both objectives.
Alphabet blocks, for example, have been around for many years. They introduce children to colors, numbers and the letters of the alphabet while allowing them to build things. They teach hand-eye coordination. Your child can use them to experiment with cause and effect relationships, filling and dumping and more. The more your child uses his imagination, the more fun toys such as blocks are.
Non-Electronic Toys Encourage Interaction
Electronic toys are usually best suited to individual play. While it's good for kids to be able to entertain themselves, they also need to interact with others to learn social skills. Non-electronic toys lend themselves to interaction.
Going back to the block example, you or another child could help your child build something with the blocks. He can share the blocks with others. You can ask your child which block is which color, or which one has a certain number or letter on it. All of these activities teach your child how to cooperate and get along with others.
Non-Electronic Toys Encourage Physical Activity
Playing with electronic toys usually requires very little movement. But there are plenty of non-electronic toys that encourage children to be physically active. This is just as important as educational value and most toys designed to promote physical activity can also be used for learning with a little creativity.
Non-Electronic Toys Last Longer
Electronic toys tend to have shorter lives than their non-electronic counterparts. Many non-electronic toys are also appropriate for a wide range of ages. The blocks and balls that your child played with as a toddler can still provide him with hours of fun after he starts to school. Electronic toys, on the other hand, are often designed with a specific age group in mind. Once your child has mastered the toy and is ready to move on, it often goes to the bottom of the toy box.
Electronic toys often have educational value, but your child needs a variety of toys that stimulate his imagination and encourage the development of necessary skills as well. The types of simple toys that were around when we were growing up are often just as much fun for our kids as they were for us and they allow kids to learn while having fun.Return to Learning Through Play