Despite the present abundance of toys for every taste, psychologists are sounding the alarm: most modern preschool children have practically forgotten how to play constructively, play profitably, inventing plots and directing their games. One of the reasons is the prevalence of all sorts of interactive and robotic toys in our children’s babies. Meanwhile, preschoolers need more “simple” toys, thanks to which they will be able not only to have fun, but also to learn something.
After all, the game – is primarily a big job for each child. In it, he meets with different types of activities of adults, learns to understand the feelings and states of other people, empathize with them, acquires the skills of communication with peers and older children.
Observing the rules of the game, the child learns to restrain his immediate desires for the sake of maintaining joint play with peers, already without adult control. In addition, the game contributes to the enrichment of the child’s sensual experience, the development of visual-figurative thinking, imagination, and speech.
It has been proven that children who are well able to play continue to study at school better, they are better able to focus on the explanations of teachers at school, they control themselves better and obey the general rules. Many parents and educators believe that modern children should not play like they played.
This is a profound error: no computer technology can replace a child with his own activity. The beauty of the game is that children themselves create the world around them.
All modern toys psychologists divide by child’s type of activity. We distinguish three main ones: cognitive activity, the game with the rule, the plot (role-playing and directorial) game.
In the very early childhood, from six months to three years, the kids need and are interested in toys that contribute to the development of intellectual, cognitive and motor abilities. These are toys that help children answer the questions: “What is it?”, “How does it work?”, “What can be done about it?”.
All kinds of rattles, tweeters, mobiles on the bed or stroller and other musical toys for the little ones, as well as balls, rings, balls, cubes, wheelchair toys, rocking toys, special straight and spiral paths for balls skating – permanently assembled (kugelban) and collapsible, dolls, nesting dolls, whirligigs, spinners, pyramids, inserts, subject pictures, expanding the horizons of the baby, designers containing a few, but varied in shape, color and color rank details, kaleidoscopes, developing mats, Set for sculpting or painting and so on.
In the third year of life, it is no longer enough for a child to simply study subjects: he is actively involved in a story game, performing pretend actions. At three years old, the child begins to realize himself: this is manifested and strengthened in the game.
Coming up with different roles for himself – a driver, a hairdresser, a doctor, an educator, etc., he tries to be “not himself” and thereby understand another and himself. So there is a role-playing game in which the child depicts some events of his life or what he observes in the world of adults. He takes on the role, creating imaginary situations, and acts in them.
In role-playing games, the child most often reproduces situations from the life of adults (mothers, fathers, doctors, hairdressers). The role-playing game of three-year-olds focuses on individual actions: “I am a mother, therefore I wash, cook, stroke, etc.”
In order to feel like someone and be able to hold a role position (and for a child it is not an easy task!), You need role attributes. For example, a chef’s hat, a doctor’s dressing, a policeman’s baton, etc.
In this case, it is not necessary to buy children a ready-made suit, it is better to have multifunctional attributes: hats, scarves, ties, fabrics of different colors. The rule also applies here: the main thing is not the object, but the imagination of the child himself.
As a rule, the child reflects in the game what he sees around him, what happens to him, what he learns from books. Therefore, to develop the game, you need to tell the child what different adults are doing, for example, at the airport or cafe.
You can display pictures and books with relevant content.
In the role-playing game is very important partner. This may be an adult or a peer.
And the child performs many actions in relation to toys: for example, she arranges dolls and teaches them like at school. Role-playing, like nothing else, contributes to the development of the kid’s imagination, and is also an important stage on the way to mastering role-playing games with peers.
3) The director himself
Starting from the age of three, activities related to mastering the meaning, tasks, norms, and relationships between people become the leader for the baby. The child has a need to acquire social, cultural and communication skills.
It is at this age that the director’s game is born, in which the baby acts both as a production director and as a performer of all the roles.
For the director’s play, a child may need: toy animals; dolls with various doll utensils, cartoon characters and films for children, puppets, finger puppets, mitten dolls, doll houses, board theaters; constructors representing thematic games, including figures of people and animals and elements of the landscape: “Zoo”, “Africa”, “City”, “Village”, “Ambulance” and so on. Transport toys (trucks, trains, cars that allow to transport something) can be attributed to this group. Do not forget here the main principle of choosing toys: the more arbitrary, the better.
If we give a child a little man, then, depending on the plan, he can endow him with different properties: the little man can be a good doctor or an evil pirate. But if we offer a child a figure of a princess or a fireman, then she cannot become anyone but a princess or a fireman. The same applies to transport: an ambulance car or a pirate ship is non-invariantly used by children.
But it is precisely this ability of a child to think and subjugate play material to itself that is developing. It is best to select the most simple and conventional men, cars, doll houses that can be used to play in the hospital, and in the police station, hairdresser, bakery, etc. And in order to ensure this variety of game content, it is not necessary to buy ready-made kits.
It is better to offer the child separate accessories for dolls: a small doctor’s suitcase, a vacuum cleaner, an iron, a telescope, a life ring, a fishing rod, and so on.
The tendencies observed in the modern toy market lead to the fact that the toy is increasingly becoming not a means of play, but a self-sufficient thing intended to consume its qualities. The child no longer needs to revive the doll, to invest its experiences in it, since it itself imitates the real life and mechanical experiences.
A child becomes addicted to a toy – and he no longer plays with the doll, but she with him.
Spiderman, man-machine, Pokemon, Cyborg, Ninja Turtles and others are increasingly replacing ordinary people and human facial expression. This is a very dangerous trend, because the doll embodies the image of a man for a child, forms his ideas about beauty, kindness, courage and other qualities.
Robots and monsters create a clearly inadequate image of a person in a child and deform his ideas about him.
Of course, no one says that you need to abandon technology. Let your child have such toys, but still let them be as small as possible. Especially if the baby is not yet 7–8 years old.
The later interactive toys appear in the life of your precious child, the happier he will be! Well, if the baby still asked you to buy a similar toy or you didn’t cope with the temptation, your task now is to teach the child to play with it, to introduce it into the game.
For example, the same Spider-Man can be “humanized” by giving a certain name, place of work, to think of what he eats, where he lives, with whom he is friends and so on. Then he will be able, together with other toy heroes, to go to visit, to shops, to work, etc. That is, now playing with him, your child will be able to show more imagination and present his beloved hero in more game situations, and not only as the savior of the world.
Do not take children too far into the virtual world: after all, in the future they will live among ordinary people and build their relationships with the real world.
In fact, the child does not need too many toys – the main thing is that they are “correct” and contribute to its full development. What should you look out for when choosing a toy?
Picking up your favorite toy, do not rush, first answer yourself a few questions. What does a toy carry?
What feelings can she awaken in a child? Does the idea of beauty match, does the sense of beauty, harmony develop?
Does the formation of moral consciousness, the distinction between good and evil, the desire to follow the moral standards?
Simplicity and availability. Sometimes it seems to adults that the more different properties and qualities a toy contains, the better.
For example, a plastic bear on wheels, which is both an engine and a telephone. It would seem that such a universal toy opens up the most diverse possibilities for a child’s activity. But. Such a “variety” only disorients the baby.
He does not know what to do: carry a teddy bear, feed him or talk on the phone. Moreover, to fully perform all these actions is impossible.
You can’t transport anything on such a bear, you don’t put anything on it, and you don’t put anyone on it, the handset is falling all the time, and it’s not quite right to consider it a bear, because it’s still a telephone, and on wheels. It would be much more useful in this respect to “separate” the functions and to offer the child three things that are different and understandable in their purpose and in the way they operate.
Stimulation of action. The toy should be as open as possible for transformation.
Such universal and popular at all times toys like balls, cubes, liners, dolls, due to their simplicity are extremely plastic, allow thousands of new combinations and can not bore the child.
Consider the age of the child. Firstly, for security reasons. Toys for children over three years old may contain small parts.
Secondly, the purchase of toys for older age can cause a loss of interest of the child. And if the baby does not manage to deal with complex toys, he can lose faith in his strength.
The size of the toy. Also note the size of the toy.
Huge soft animals (dogs, hippos, elephants), which the baby can not even pick up, can serve as a decoration for the room or a pillow, but not the subject of children’s actions.
Security questions. When buying, first look at the labeling.
The label must indicate the manufacturer and the country of origin. A hygienic certificate must be attached to the product. Carefully inspect the toy – no sharp corners, chipping, cutting edges should not be.
And, of course, no small parts that the baby can easily swallow. It is worth paying attention to the sounds that the toy makes: sharp, too loud, shrill to frighten a child or negatively affect his hearing. See how comfortable the toy is, whether it can be washed or washed.
After all, it can not do without.
Independence of the game. It often seems that a simple toy is boring for a child, since he plays little with himself, and sometimes he doesn’t know what to do.
It requires the participation of an adult (or a well-playing older child / group of children). We do not require children to learn how to play the violin or chess themselves, and we should not expect that the child left alone with toys will learn to play well.
He will be able to more or less fully play himself at an older age – closer to 7 years.