CHILDREN’S DEVELOPMENT BENEFITS FROM PLAY THAT IS FUNCTIONALLY APPROPRIATE
Child development specialists consider functional play the most basic sort of play that little children engage in. Many developmental psychologists refer to functional play as “initial play” because young toddlers initially utilize toys to amuse themselves. This type of play begins in infancy and lasts until about the age of 2, when it usually ends.
Why Do Children Enjoy Opening a Box?
For a long time before she starts making up fantasy worlds and imaginary pals, your child will enjoy a toy only for what it is. You don’t have to be an artist to see the wonder in a block since it is just a block. Pushing, rolling, and repeatedly dropping it from the rim of a high chair are all viable options. To put it another way, “toys” may not be all that important to young children. As all parents know, a cardboard box is just as exciting for children as a new train set since it has so many wonderful features to uncover.
Unlike in dramatic play, toys and daily objects are not used symbolically in functional play. Your child will instead focus on the object’s intrinsic physical properties (whether that object is designed to be a toy or not).
The Pleasure of Fun
When your child plays with and studies the toy, they use all of their senses to gain knowledge about the toy and the world around them. Some more common reasons your child could be drawn to a certain object are its vivid colors, the sound it produces when banged with an object of similar size, the way it feels in his hands, or the smell it emits.
Toys for toddlers should stimulate your child’s senses in a fun and educational way. As a result, they must also be strong enough to resist being pulled and sucked. Toys and materials provided to young children should meet the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s safety guidelines.
Functional play is also characterized by a high degree of repetition. Toddlers, for example, may repeatedly roll a ball down a slide because they enjoy watching the colors swirl and hearing the bounce. They enjoy the sight and sound of it.
Benefits of Playing with Purpose
Although youngsters may find dolls or empty toilet paper tubes appealing, playtime provides them with far more than sensory stimulation. Children learn pre-reading, motor, and thinking abilities during functional play by engaging in simple, repeated tasks. To give you an idea, here are some possible games your child might enjoy:
- Classifying and distinguishing items by color is a skill that may be learned by lining up cars.
- The process of putting together interlocking pieces without creating anything in particular: Increased synchronization between the eyes and hands
- An automobile smashing into a wall and bouncing back off: explains the relationship between cause and effect.
It may be referred to as “first play,” but functional play trains young children for the complicated abilities they’ll need to use in both school and the workplace.
Helpful related article: How Can Parents Best Encourage Their Children To Engage in Imaginative Play, 3-Year-Old Toys That Encourage Imaginative Play, A Look at the Positive Effects of Collaborative Play Has on Toddlers