Think back to your childhood. We all had a favourite soft toy when we were young, right? Well, as time has gone on there has been some debate as to whether such simple soft toys can be of much benefit to young children. Despite being cute, some people would argue that these are hardly the most educational toy you can buy for your child. However, there are many benefits to allowing your toddler to play with these timeless favourite toys, especially in an age dominated by technology.
Here are 7 of the barely known of soft toys for toddlers:
1. Provides Comfort
Life is scary for us all, especially when you are a toddler. Having your favourite stuffed toy by your side can be a source of comfort for little ones when they find themselves in distress or in unfamiliar environments. They can even be used to ease separation anxiety as the child can keep their furry companion close even when they have to be apart from their parents.
2. Enhances Sensory Skills
Young children are drawn to the cuddly softness offered by stuffed toys as well as the colours. Being exposed to such things allow children to develop sensory skills of sight and touch as they snuggle up with their furry friends.
3. Builds Confidence
You’ll often see toddlers interacting with their soft toys like they are real people. This allows them to practice their social skills and helps raise their confidence when it comes to interacting with their peers in an effective way.
4. Gives Them A Sense of Responsibility
By playing with cuddly toys children become nurturing. They learn to care for their furry friends and often look after them as if they were children – putting them to bed and feeding them. Learning to look after something is an important transferable skill which can be replicated when it comes to their human relationships too.
5. Can Help Them Express Themselves Better
Kids are often seen talking to their soft toy companions. This is an excellent form of self-expression and can help with socialisation. Introverted children, especially, find that having soft toys help them open up and interact socially.
6. Managing Emotions
Soft toys are an excellent tool for role-playing and can help young children express their feelings, using non-verbal cues when they haven’t quite got to grips with the necessary vocabulary. When children are experiencing emotions they don’t fully understand yet, acting feelings out with their toys can be a safe, positive way to learn to handle their feelings.
7. Language Skills
When children start saying their first words and eventually stringing together sentences, they are often keen to test out their new skills. Having little conversations with their stuffed animals provides an excellent opportunity to practice.
While soft toys may seem quite a basic option in an age of high technology, their value is seen in the fact that they have stood the test of times. Although technology has its benefits, soft toys are a great way to help your child get back to basics while establishing those much needed digital boundaries. Beyond the educational benefits, soft toys have multiple social benefits with regards to a child’s emotional development too.
At Hatching Dragons, we care deeply about children’s development. If you are looking for a warm and happy nursery for your baby, get to know us. We accept children from 6 months to 5 years old.