The Joy of the Toy: Playing with Purpose

by | Dec 8, 2022

Toys serve a purpose. Move toys from your “must-haves with little thought to them to the shelf in your mind that reminds you that even in simple toys, there’s a purpose and thought behind the wooden knobs that allow your child to practice their fine motor skills.

What’s the deal with toys?

Toys are more than entertainment. Toys serve as a means of exploring the world and expressing new skills and ideas that have been learned and observed. Toys are about education and allowing the imagination to unfold. 


Toys refine motor development. Those are good signs when your baby starts grabbing toys, putting them into their mouths and manipulating them. Because they are stimulated by it, the attempt to grab the toy increasingly allows them to refine those motor skills. Further to this, toys promote emotional development. As noted by Simone Books, “Playing with toys helps improve their communication skills, self-confidence, and release of emotions.” Playing with toys helps children practice bonding in healthy ways. It teaches them to share. “Toys are the ideal tool for connection, building positive memories, and interacting with their feelings.” A means of actively enhancing this emotional development through toys is using toys that encourage your little ones to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. For instance, get a doctor’s kit. This helps them empathise with “sick patients.” It allows them to view the world through someone else’s eyes. Further to this, toys aid in cognitive development. 

Regarding babies, toys are ideal for encouraging and progressing their development. Specifically, toys are excellent tools for helping develop their sense of sight, touch and hearing. Soft baby books are often textured with various materials. They have a mirror and black and white pages for visual stimulation. 


Toys enhance attention span, positively impact memory and retention and stimulate concentration. Cognitive development entails thinking skills. Engaging with toys allows children to pretend they are something or someone else. Suddenly they are the brave princess on an adventure, or they are mom or dad typing on their laptops or cooking a meal. 


It goes without saying that toys enhance creativity and allow the imagination to unfold. Just look at Barney! This entire series is based on an imaginary dinosaur who teaches children beautiful lessons about friendship, sharing, love and using your imagination. 


Toys simplify complexities about the world. You’ll notice toys geared towards language development as your little tots grow, like kids’ scrabble. There are thrilling toys that uncover the world of science and help them understand what fossils are as they “excavate” tiny clay beds to find their dinosaur. Legos are more than fun building blocks (and more than a painful jab when you accidentally step on them). They help children understand the basics of engineering and architecture. 


Toys build confidence. When a little one tries their hand at a new game, they’re awkward and don’t get it right. They may miss the ball when they try to kick it. They spill the water around the little container they are meant to pour it in. Give them enough time, and you’ll have a young Ronaldo running around the backyard kicking with ease and a budding Masterchef missing ingredients away in the kitchen.


Finally, another brilliant purpose of toys is that they teach socialisation skills. A simple ball being kicked or thrown about becomes a fun game involving friends. The “joy of the toy” is endless and serves a tremendous purpose