Play is an essential component in the proper development of young children. The activity presents them with the opportunity to think for themselves or use their imagination to work out simple life dynamics.
However, due to the rise of digital technology, the brand of play that a lot of young children get into has changed immensely. They are often spoon-fed information and they do not even get to explore the world outside their home. A lot of tots even grow quite obsessed with gaming consoles, smartphones, and tablet PCs that they become so oblivious to what is going on around them.
If you are not keen on your children getting sucked into a virtual world and failing to develop good social skills, invest in traditional toys and play equipment for kids. Among the best options for play equipment are cubby houses or small house-like structures and sandpits.
Developmental Advantages Provided by Cubbies
Cubbies create a “domain” for your little ones. Although you may be in charge of filling it up with decor (toys basically), it is a place that your kids can call their own and have full control of. They can turn a cubby into anything that they want it to be for imaginative play. Also, here, they can create stories that depict their growing understanding of the world they live in.
Not only is a cubby house perfect for that kind of play but it likewise makes for a cozy, ready nook. If your kids are learning to read, you can assign their cubby as the place to enrich their vocabulary by reading books.
And perhaps, the most important function of cubbies for little kids is how they serve as a private hideout or hideaway for them. A cubby may not be too much of a secret hideout but it can pretty much perform the same job because when young children need a place to let off steam or a getaway to think without being disturbed by an adult, a cubby easily meets this need.
Developmental Advantages Provided by Sandpits
Sand is a great sensory stimulus, which is pretty much the reason why young kids can spend countless hours just playing with it at the beach.
Child development studies also reveal that sand promotes physical development. Children build strength as they work with sand as a medium. Plus, they develop eye and hand coordination as the young ones manipulate it according to the vision in their head.
Early childhood care and development specialists also point out that because sand is not quantifiable, it is an ideal toy for socialization. You can place young children in a small sandpit with fun rainbow sand and the likelihood of them fighting with each other is lower. This is because their area will always have more than enough sand for the play they have in mind.
It is worth noting as well that sand is what ECCD specialists call a “didactic” toy. It is educational because with its “manipulative” quality, children learn various concepts such as shape, texture, and the cause and effect of certain interactions between sand and other media. Best of all, sand can turn into anything — there are countless possibilities with it.
Smart Play Investments
Toys and play equipment that hone gross and fine motors skills, encourage social interaction, and creative thinking are always smart investments in ensuring the healthy development of your young brood.
These allow children to fully explore what they are physically and mentally capable of. And, when they obtain an understanding of this, you secure them an advantage in this often challenging world.
Truly, you cannot go wrong with these investments. And because your children need to use their imagination when playing with such toys or play equipment, you can have the assurance that they will not get bored easily.
As opposed to digital games whose excitement is simply concentrated on reaching a new level (which, at times, will require you to dole out more money), traditional play implements like cubbies and sandpits are guaranteed to enhance playtime and learning.
If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to check out these unorthodox ideas for the back yard. Let us know in the comments sections below what you’ve included in your back yard for your children to play with.
Michael Davies is the Senior Account Manager at Sandleford, a trusted supplier of letterboxes and home security products and solutions in Australia. The company’s Swing Slide Climb range has grown and grown over the past 4 years, and together with Bunnings Australia, it has become one of the most exciting and innovative suppliers and developers of children’s play equipment in the Australian market.