What a parent wants are often more complex than what a child wants. Though parents would like their children to have stuff which they would thoroughly enjoy, they would prefer to buy something which would have a positive effect on their developmental skills. One would likely infer that we are referring to educational toys here. It would be partly correct. However, there are other categories which may not be part of the “Educational Toys” category yet be important for the mental and physical development of the child. One such category is building blocks which not only works on the motor skills but also on their creative instinct. What we need to focus on, are toys that have an intrinsic educational value for specific types of abilities. In particular, we need to focus on special abilities. These are the types of abilities that require thinking about the relations between objects and among the parts of a given object.
During the summer holiday, this is the time of the year when parents devote their precious time and money in buying toys for their children. Nothing can be more satisfying for parents than to see a smile on the face of their children. To achieve this, it is likely that the parents would pay attention to the wish list provided by their children. Wishlists reflect their interests and it is more likely it reflects gender stereotypes more than anything else. Boys are more likely to ask for action toys like guns, figures, cars, and slime. Girls would prefer dolls, arts and crafts, plush toys and household-based toys.
It’s a no-brainer that all parents would like their children to be successful in their chosen fields. What can be done to ensure this? Have them practice their special abilities from an early age? There is ample evidence that training improves special abilities. In addition, there are studies that clearly demonstrate that playing with special toys during early age has beneficial effects on special abilities in adulthood. Studies have shown that the practice of special activities as children was positively related to special performance in adulthood, even after gender was considered. Essentially, those involved in more special activities as children had better special abilities as adults, regardless of gender.
This clearly implies it’s a good idea to consider buying a few special toys for your children. Now, what exactly is a special toy? The types of toys, games, and activities that would qualify as special that include eg: cars and trucks, construction and building blocks, musical instruments, puppets, puzzles, air hockey, ping pong, shooting pool, marbles, and mazes.
One final point: You might look at the list and believe that your child will not be interested in special toys. You wouldn’t be farther away from the truth. You get at least one of those toys (even the cheapest one) and then show your child how to play with it. If nothing else, you will spend quality time with your child and this will benefit your relationship. However, I’m also firmly convinced that it will have long-lasting effects on their special abilities!
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