I’m not that mom.
I’m not that mom who has huge expectations of her child. I’m not that mom who takes her little one to early math centres so he can get a leg up on the “competition” (other JK’ers). And I’m certainly not that mom who favours structured socialization over good old fashioned toys (at least not at a tender age). Not that there’s anything wrong with those moms; for better or worse, our parenting styles are simply different. As for me, I guess you could say that I believe in the power of play, and learning through play.
Because it’s more than just banging on a piece of wood or plastic, isn’t it? Every time I see Reid attack one of his toys, he’s learning. He’s sensing, discovering and imagining. In fact, sometimes I can actually see the wheels turning; I anticipate his next move, wait for his next toothy grin, brace myself for the next burst of energy.
A toy as simple as the Fisher-Price Go Baby Go Bat & Wobble Penguin has brought on so much enjoyment! He’s been playing with it for about 3 months on and off, and whenever he’s in a surly mood, I bring it back out to cheer him up. In fact, the pictures below were taken just seconds after a crying fit – not sure if you can see the red rims around his eyes, but this toy definitely stops the tears in my house!
When Reid first encountered the penguin, he’d simply bat it back and forth with much enthusiasm but no real direction. Now, after a little bit of friendly swatting, he picks it up and takes it with him to the couch, babbling away as he sits down beside it. Then, he treats the toy as his best pal; an arm casually swung around it as he pretends to watch the television. Now tell me he hasn’t learned a thing or two about socialization?
Here are a few interesting tidbits from the article, Play and Skill Development on Fisher-Price.com:
– As children play with toys, with one another, and with adults, they acquire and improve the skills necessary for formal learning in later stages of their lives.
– Along with the skills of eye-hand coordination and control that come from playing with toys will come a fantastic amount of concept development—understanding the meaning of relationships and intrinsic characteristics of objects.
– One thing parents want to be sure and look for in toys they buy their children is that the toys should communicate directly to the children and not necessarily require adult explanations. For example, the child knows immediately if he has worked a puzzle correctly.
Get back to basics and let kids be kids! And, check out Fisher-Price Play to find the perfect age and stage appropriate toys for your LOs!