Outdoor toys that stimulate creativity and inventiveness
The summer holidays are here which means that entertaining your children during the day will become one of your main priorities. With no school or after school activities running during the summer, it’s up to you to maintain your child’s creativity levels and keep them engaged with everything that’s going on around them. It’s all too tempting, when you have a long six weeks in front of you, to let children stay indoors, engrossed with their favourite video games. However, this is something that you should refrain from doing if you want to provide your child and yourself with a rewarding six week break.
Imaginative play is an extremely important part of childhood and a child’s development. It is therefore important to encourage children’s imaginations to run wild. Although you might see it as nothing more than a bit of fun when your child is playing with a cardboard box in the garden pretending to be a pirate sailing the high seas, they’re actually learning new words and phrases. In considering make-believe scenarios and consequences, a child is developing socially and linguistically. Rather than giving in and letting them play their computer games for hours each day, think about ways to stimulate their imagination and creativity. Doing this doesn’t have to take up your whole day either because quite often children will be quite happy to go off and play by themselves, with siblings or with friends in their own little world.
Through the summer it’s important for kids to get outside into the sunshine and all of these activities can be done outdoors just as easily as they can indoors. Rather than giving in to all hype about the new must-have toys on the market this summer consider going back to basics with the toys that kids will go back to time and time again because they allow them to become anything they want to be:
- Building blocks might seem like a pretty unimaginative invention but actually the imagination lies within their simplicity. A few building blocks, whether they’re the traditional wooden shapes, Lego or something like Bristle Blocks or Duplo, allow children to create anything whether it’s a dream house for their dolls or a racing car for them to win the Formula 1 in.
- Play kitchens are not just great for girls, as many boys love them too. Children love to replicate scenarios that they see in everyday life whether that’s on the TV or at home. Children enjoy copying the things that they see adults do as it allows them to enter the adult world, however briefly.
- Craft boxes are a great way to engage the imagination; although glitter and glue might not be something that you want to let your child loose with, giving them a few markers, some felt, stickers and card will enable them to create something that they’re really proud of. Whether they craft a picture of their house or their family they will talk you through exactly what’s going on and give you an insight into their thought processes. Doing arts and crafts with your child is not only a great way to teach children new things but also provides an opportunity for you to learn from them.
- Musical instruments are one thing that children and adults enjoy just as much as each other – when they’re played properly anyway. Music is a huge form of expression that follows you through your life, so it’s important that it’s part of a child’s life from the very beginning. Maracas, tambourines, drums and keyboards are easy enough to get hold of and once you start collecting them you can keep adding to the set as they get older.
- Dressing up clothes provide a child with the opportunity to become one of their favourite characters for the day. Taking on a new identity is likely to give your child a head start when it comes to social and linguistic development. This is because the fancy dress outfit not only alters their appearance but their entire demeanour. For example, a child’s voice and choice of phrases and words are likely to take on a new meaning when they are wearing the outfit.
The great thing about these types of toys is the fact that you don’t have to spend a lot on them and they’ll last years. These are the sorts of things that kids will never get bored of and although they might not get played with every day, they’ll come back to them time and again in years to come.
Born to Toddle are specialists in supplying high quality children’s toys and furniture for every occasion. Whether you’re decorating a nursery or looking for the perfect outdoor equipment to entertain the kids on a summer’s day Born to Toddle have it covered.