At Little Wooden Toybox we highly value and encourage children to learn through play. So many skills are learnt and developed through structured and unstructured play with wooden toys.
Structured play involves guiding your child to complete tasks with an educational goal in
mind. On the other hand, unstructured play gives your child opportunities to discover, learn and experience at their own pace and in their own way. Both types of play are important. Never underestimate what your children are learning during ‘free’ or unstructured play!
Note: Be careful to stop and change activities as soon as the child is showing signs of
no longer enjoying structured play time. Play needs to be fun and children need to learn that learning is fun too!
Here are just some of the educational qualities of the Teething Worms, Squeaky Cars and
Fine Motor Skills: the use of small muscle groups to perform a precise task.
Hand Eye Coordination: where the hand and eye need to work together to perform a task accurately.
Music, Sound & Auditory: developing rhythm & beat, a means of expression.
Problem Solving: to solve problems through a variety of means including trial & error and practice.
Imaginative Play: to use imagination to create a scene or situation where children can ‘make believe’ or pretend play.
Visual Stimulation: watching things move and watching how they work, or how pieces work together.
Cause & Affect: watching what happens when something is manipulated and that in turn affects something else.
Logical Thinking: to think in a structured way to achieve a certain goal (opposite to creative/ imaginative thinking).
Please note that there are my own definitions and are by no means complete definitions
of all that each skill encompasses. Meanings have been giving in simple terms
and in a way that it can be applied to LWT wooden toys.
Teething Worm for 10 months and over:
You might ask ‘What could a baby possibly learn from a teething toy?’ and the answer is ‘Loads!’ Although it looks to you as if your baby is just slobbering and chewing on the worm, this is in fact the way babies learn about their environment. All babies and young children are sensory learners, as everything they hear, smell, touch, taste and see is new to them. Babies will ‘mouth’ toys as this is a way for them to feel and discover objects.
Fine Motor Skills and Hand Eye Co-ordination: As babies hold, drop, pick up, twist, manoeuvre with their hands and put the Teething Worm in their mouth, they are using and developing fine motor skills and coordination. More simply, they are learning to position their hands and mouth where their brain is telling them the object is, based on what they are seeing with their eyes. Although young babies will appear clumsy and uncoordinated they are still learning, and practise in a fun and safe manner with a colourful Teething Worm is a great way to start developing these skills from a tiny age.
Visual Stimulation: Bright contrasting colours are what babies see best from a very young age and the Teething Worm is certainly brightly coloured! Babies will also enjoy
watching the way the beads that make up the worm twists and interact with each other allowing it to form different shapes. This toy is very soothing not only on the gums but visually as well.
Squeaky Car for 10 months and over:
The Squeaky Car is a favourite toy for many young children as it is easy for chubby
little hands to grasp and manoeuvre. It doubles as a musical toy and a car with moving wheels; encouraging children to participate in imaginative play as they move it around like a car or truck. Similarly to the Teething Worm, the Squeaky Car also helps develop fine Motor Skills and Hand Eye Co-ordination.
Cause & Affect: Cause and affect is something that seems very basic to us as adults but it is fascinating to children that are learning this concept. Young children begin to realise that their actions and have caused something new to happen. In a similar way, children learn that when they push the Squeaky Car’s head it will in turn make a squeak noise.
Stacking Clown for 10 months and over:
Fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination are the two obvious educational benefits
of the Stacking Clown but it also is great for learning colours and sizes while doubling as a set of teething rings. It is an ideal baby shower gift as it looks great on the book shelf in the nursery until baby is old enough to play with it!
Problem Solving: Trial and error is an important problem solving skill to learn for any child and playing with this toy is a fun way to learn it. Older toddlers can learn to stack the
rings from largest to smallest while younger children can stack the rings in any order (without the frustration without doing it incorrectly) as each ring has the same sized hold to fit on the pole.
Logical Thinking: During structured play young children will need to think carefully and logically in order to get the disks onto the pole in the correct order when asked to stack them from biggest to smallest, or smallest to biggest.
I hope this helps to explain that wooden toys aren’t just wooden toys. Each toy in the
Little Wooden Toybox range is carefully selected based on a variety of criteria including colour, durability, price, safety and enjoyment value. But more importantly the toys are chosen based on the educational qualities that each toy possesses, both for neuro-typical children and for children with special needs. If you have any questions regarding the educational benefits of the above wooden toys, please feel free to ask below!
These toys are available at dev.littlewoodentoybox.com.au