An enriching environment at a young age means a brighter future
By Martin McAllister
Children are constantly learning from their surroundings, which is why it's important to make certain they grow up in an enriching environment. At an early age, this can mean anything from being close to their parents to interacting with other children. However, as children grow older, they require a comprehensive set of tools and activities in order to challenge and develop their cognitive skills.
Play is one of the most vital aspects of a child's life. It's not only a socially enriching activity, but it also helps contribute to a child's physical, mental and emotional development. Through play, children can discover their surroundings, make connections, apply new skills and learn how things work together. Children also learn to cooperate and share; board games, for example, are a great way for you to incorporate interaction and introduce your child to the concept of following rules and taking turns - ideas which can often be challenging to a child's developing mind.
Playing with games and puzzles can also spark specific interests in your child, concerning anything from reading and counting to art and sports. Two-year-olds, for example, are particularly apt to develop their motor skills through basic puzzles and shape-sorters, while preschool-aged children develop cause-and-effect and problem-solving skills through more advanced games and conundrums. Creativity is yet another skill which is largely driven by recreational play, as children often gain significant exposure to colours, shapes and characters.
There are a number of toy suppliers that specialise in the manufacture of toys, games and puzzles which aim to stimulate and develop your child's skills, regardless of his or her age. Whether your child is just beginning to develop motor skills or is old enough to read, he or she will gain immensely from an enriching environment. And remember that a parent's participation in their child's play can be truly rewarding as well. Children will often follow or 'mimic' an adult's example of play, as well as derive a sense of self-worth from the praise that they get.
However, it is wise to make certain that any toy, game or puzzle that you give your child meets British and European standards of toy safety. In fact, you can often purchase toys that are developed in compliance with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. After all, ensuring that your child has the right tools to develop physically, emotionally, mentally and socially paves the way toward a brighter future.
About the Author
Martin McAllister is a freelance online journalist. He lives in Scotland.
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