And for the parents who would like to have a go at bonding time with your kids, with dedicated attention for them and wondering how to engage them… as well as those who do not want to go through the hassle of bringing them for classes and playgroups and making the kids social butterflies wannabes… not forgetting some help for the temporary nannies of your kids when you are not around… toys and games are the best solutions!
Being the kiasu parents that is so ingrained in us, we are constantly looking for ways to stretch that every dollar we put into the toys and games to serve dual purpose – play and learn. Isn’t that so? What’s the first question that comes to your mind when your kid bugs you for that toy… ‘is it useful?’ There you got it!
Neurological research has proven that a child’s brain starts developing at birth and the first five years are particularly important for a child’s brain development. Your child’s early experiences will greatly shape his/her future physical, emotional, social and cognitive development. Here, we share some simple tips that you can do as a parent to develop your kid starting from 18 months onwards.
1. Start from the basics – Reading time!
Reading aloud with your child helps to build your child’s vocabulary and linguistic capability which develops his ability to communicate and express his feelings and thoughts. Reading would also help to prepare him for school. Spice up the reading with animated voices! Also, increase your kid’s involvement and arouse interest by asking questions along the way. Find out more about 5 Tips to Choose Books for Toddlers and How to Get Your Child to Love Reading.
2. Bring out the “art-ness” – Colour and Scribble!
When children do art and craft, they have opportunities to make their own choices on the colour they want, the things they want to draw. It is an avenue for them to express themselves. Not to forget, making art stimulates the right brain which is used in emotional perception, intuition and creativity.
Quercetti Stencils Design Forest is a complete drawing set with non-toxic markers, stencils and drawing album. This is an ideal art toy to introduce your child to drawing. Toxic-free!
Don’t mind a bit of mess? Prefer your child to explore doodling? Check out Wee Can Too Edible Art Supplies. Imported directly from US, these paints are made from organic fruit and vegetable powders, rice cereal and flour. Fret not even when your child uses the paints with bare hands as they are safe enough to be eaten!
3. Spark some imagination - Dress and Role Play!
Imaginary play happens when your kid uses imagination to create pretend and make-believe scenarios. They can engage in such plays with toys such as dolls, stuff toys or dressing up to do role play. This allows your child to develop his creativity and supports longer attention span.
Remember the paper and Barbie dolls you used to play when you were young? They are back in magnetic version! Quercetti Fashion Design 3 Dolls comes with 52 magnetic clothing pieces to support hours of creative play.
The Convertibles Book range offers a large play mat for children to read, play and pretend to steer a vehicle. Read aloud the story with your child then let your child follow and interact with the story on the mat and finally literally convert the mat into a sit-in toy for your child to pretend to be driving! 5 designs available, pink jeep, 4 wheel drive, spaceship, bulldozer and school bus.
4. Solve the mystery - Building Blocks and Puzzles!
Children like the idea of pulling out, putting together, adding and building up blocks and puzzles. This gives them the space to figure where the pieces fit and do not fit which teaches them to use their minds to solve problems and think in a logical way. During the play process, their hand-eye coordination improves as their mind, hands and eyes work together.
Mega Bloks 123 Learning Train is ideal for young children aged 12 months and above. Build this cute train with your child with 44 blocks which connect and disconnect easily. Introduce numbers 0 to 9 to your child with the numbered blocks at the same time.
The Block Builder is designed for children aged 4 and above to foster the development of 5 cognition capacities namely visualization, dimensionality, spatially, imagination and deductive reasoning. Comes with guidebook to show how to build all types of buildings!
For those who are looking for a greater challenge, check out Quercetti Kaleido Gears which comprises 16 gears of varying sizes and 22 axles for children to try their hands on constructing different possible combinations.
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