Considering just how much time children spend playing with their toys, it’s surprising we don’t recognise just how much they are changing their development!
Play is how children learn.
They will develop their social, emotional, cognitive and emotional milestones all through play which is just mindboggling!
Through very natural play, children will grow into who they are supposed to be.
Connections straight from birth rapidly form Neurons in the brain called Synapses which grow because children are incredibly able to take in massive amounts of information, far greater than adults can!
Isn’t that amazing?
As adults, we sort of ignore irrelevant information. For young children, a phenomenon called Neuroplasticity allows children’s brains to change and develop. Toy’s and environments which are very present in children’s life really encourage who they are going to be.
Check out this amazing book on Neuroplasticity in children which taught me so much!
It’s fair to say that through a child’s development, they will go through various sensitive periods where there is fast development in a particular milestone.
For example, a newborn baby’s eyesight will be developing so fast after birth. When they are born you will probably look like a lovely big blurry sight! In a matter of months, your little one’s eyes will be developing incredibly fast until they can eventually see everything clear.
With that said, children will react to what they are provided with. I believe that it is very important not to pre-determine who you want them to be through their toys.
Children will always react to what is put in front of them and learn from experience. From 6 months and up children are always reaching out and so interested in play. They will grow, depending on what they are given!
Toys are not everything, but they do have a large presence in a child’s development.
Pre-determined lives through toys
It is always puzzling to me why you’d want to pre-determine what your child plays with. Of course, ultimately, they are going to want to play with something they are interested in.
In the ‘olden’ days, it was assumed that boys will get interested in digger trucks and all things manly, and girls will be into playing with dolls and all things girly. In up to date terms, we have totally flipped the switch!
Parents want their sons to be running around in dresses before they even think is this something he wants to do?
Can’t we let children grow naturally?
I read a story that shocked me!
A family in Texas had forced their little boy to dress like a girl. His Mother had even changed his name to a girl one and also tried to give the boy hormone changes, which could be irreversible for the boy.
Her reasoning is beyond my knowledge but when did we let our own principles change who are children are?
I think about this poor boy and it really does sadden me. If he had wanted all this my opinion would definitely change but he didn’t!
I know the world can be mad but when children are affected this is a big no-no in my book.
Optimising your child’s development with toys!
Try your best not to be one-sided! Children need a wide range of stimulants so they are able to take all this in and decide what they like and who they want to be.
I’m not saying run out and buy oodles of toys until you have holes in your pockets!
Children don’t need their worlds jam-packed, they need variety and freedom.
There is nothing wrong with buying a girl a doll, but by her toy cars too! She’ll have the option what to like and she’ll get to experience everything.
Here are a few tips to elevate your little one’s development through toys!
- Never force your own beliefs. If your child isn’t interested, don’t push it
- Have a wide range of toys
- Don’t confuse wide range with lots! A good few options for play is perfect
- Let them be who they are
I don’t believe there is any social benefit in frustrating a child’s natural urges?
So what if a boy decided to be so typical to his gender he wants to play with cars? So what if a little girl wants to be delicate and loves everything pink?
Or the other way around, regardless, our job is to set children up for life and to find a career which will match their interests.
Our job is not to confuse them or tell them what to like. Our jobs are to find that little spark which is inside all children and make this into a bigger spark until one day it bursts into a big ball of light!
My Nanny Kids
With that said, I have a few little peanuts to introduce you too…
This is little Peggy one of my Nanny kiddos. I have been with her since she was a few weeks old so it has been the nicest thing to help shape her into a wonderful little girl who is so content on being herself.
Our play is natural. Unless we have something planned I observe what she wants to do and go from here.
She loves playing with cars, dolls, dinosaurs and balls. You can often find her running around the house shouting “RAWRRR” at everyone.
I am very happy she is happy. And she is completely herself. I didn’t tell her to shout RAWR or cuddle her dolls, she does because it’s her.
Here is another cutie. Lucy! Isn’t she a sweetie pie? One of her favourite things to do is to pick a few flowers and make perfume out of it. Very girly sounding isn’t it? But again this is great because it’s her. I wouldn’t care if this flower was a football because either way, I would be shaping her into who she is and not who I want her to be!
And last but not least, here is lovely Emilia. This is her celebrating her 9th birthday! Doesn’t she look so happy? She is definitely not a girly girl and she loves a good rough and tumble! She will happily do yoga with me and play hide and seek and she is a very thoughtful little girl!
I want to say a big thank you to all you who took some time to read my post and I especially hope you liked getting a little hello from my beautiful Nanny kids!
Please let me know what you thought of my post and any questions please don’t hesitate to pop them below!
Nanny M x