Promote imaginative play by providing a box of simple, everyday objects. A kitchen junk draw, a shoebox full of objects from around the house – anything that makes up a simple toy when put together in one place. These types of toys don’t cost much and can promote complex play between children and adults. For more details, go to https://www.neskkids.com.au.
When making toy recommendations to these families, it is essential to consider the developmental stages of the language, cognition, and sensory integration, in addition to the child’s specific diagnosis. These families are often looking for toys that will assist their children in learning about the world around them (sensory integration), developing language (cognitive development), and improving fine motor skills (handwriting skills). Furthermore, these toys need to be safe enough that young siblings aren’t harming play.
Here is an area where open-ended toys like loose parts bins, kits, and wooden toys can be beneficial by offering simple tools for play while allowing children to make up their own stories with the objects they place in their bins.
When playing with such simple toys, take time to allow children time to explore them. Do not ask questions or interfere in any way; watch and listen. Observe what they do; look for patterns in their play (routine actions). How does your child use this object? What do they imagine it is? Engage with your child’s imagination: Ask questions about their imaginary world (e.g., “What’s happening?”). Point out similarities and differences (e.g., “The chair is like the one we have at home”). Try to link it with their previous play (e.g., “This box is like the one we had last week”). Use the toy in a new way: Challenge your child by showing them how to use an object differently (e.g., when playing restaurant, instead of using salt, pepper, sugar for seasoning– use pill containers or spoons).
Promote creative play by giving children plenty of time to explore materials that are natural and biodegradable. Let them create things without special tools or machinery. Provide simple objects that are beautiful and useful when not being played with, e.g., shells, pinecones, stones. Do not ask children what to create – just let them explore materials and build whatever they want in their own time. Let the materials guide your child’s imagination: Do not give too many choices or direct children into a specific activity (e.g., “Can you make something for me?”).
Wooden toys are suitable for promoting creative play because of the free-form opportunities available to children when playing with these materials. Still, they can also help teach about responsibility because wooden toys are expensive. Wooden toys are durable and will last a long time if properly cared for; encourage young children to take care of their toys by putting away equipment after use and keeping it off the floor, out of the sand and mud, and away from excessive heat and moisture.