We all know how important it is to make sure we are making learning fun for our children. But did you know there has been an extensive amount of research on this topic? The research shows just how important the role of play activities is in the healthy physical and mental development of a child.
However, not a lot of people know that children as young as 9 months old can show specific preferences towards certain toys depending on what gender group they belong to. This observation has sparked the interest of different researchers. Leading to many studies of gender-based preferences towards toys shown by children.
Gender-Based Toy Preferences
So what are these differences anyway?
Is there a reason behind baby boys playing with cars, balls and blue coloured toys? Or girls opting for pink colours and dolls over other toys. Something other than societies opinions of what girls and boys should be playing with? Some of these differences can also be attributed to our biological makeup.
Biological studies show that boys are inherently are more inclined towards mental rotation. Plus, boys are also said to have better spatial processing abilities. As boys tend to spend their time arranging blocks and Lego puzzles This is super effective at improving this ability. This is why boys are said to be better at math, too!
Girls, however, are thought to be more interested in focusing on faces. They also have been shown to have better fine motor skills than boys.
Girl play typically involves female children spending time organising pretend kitchen toys. This is thought to improve cognitive functioning as well as improve their early linguistic skills. However, girls are said to be more empathetic, something which they learn very early on by taking care of their dolls.
Setting gender aside, I mean who’s to say girls and boys can only play with gender typical toys. Toys are, at the end of the day, just toys, are they not? But, toys are really important for a child’s brain development. Playing with your baby from a young age with good quality toys can help them learn so many important things in so many different ways. But they all have one thing in common: fun.
Making Learning Fun for Babies.
Parenting experts recommend parents to incorporate some play-time with their babies into their busy schedule. We all have at some point witnessed a baby self-soothe themselves to the sound of the music coming from a toy, but toys can provide much more than that for young babies too.
Babies as young as 4 months old can benefit from play activities. This is the stage where they begin to their eye-hand coordination. This begins to improve significantly allowing them to understand the cause and effect relationship between things.
As they grow older, even the simplest of activities like completing a small puzzle can do wonders for your child’s sense of confidence and achievement. More than that, though, it is these play activities which actually help your child fine tune their communication skills. Interacting through play has a strong positive impact on their social skills.
This explains the growing popularity of more and more educational and developmental toys aimed at younger babies.
Do you have toys to help your babies development? What are your thoughts on young children biologically designed to opt for certain toys? My nephew loved cars when he was younger and whilst he still does, he also has many typical ‘girls’ toys too including prams, dolls, toy kitchens etc. My niece of the same age has a fabulous race track for her cars alongside a massive Barbie house she inherited from Olivia. Because quite simply toys really are just toys and are designed children aren’t they?
*This is a collaborative post. Edited for my readers*