If you’ve ever had a child in pediatric therapy sessions, you might note that many of the sessions are play sessions where children learn how to play with familiar toys in new ways.
We don’t usually associate “therapy” with the word “play.” Still, kids interpret the world differently: they’re motivated by play and imitation of adults. Play will engage their senses more than any worksheet would, which is essential in mental development.
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Benefits Of Playing With Toy Vehicles
One of the most commonly used toys is cars, not only because they’re easy to find but because they perform many functions and develop skill areas that children often struggle with when they’re younger. Let’s talk about a few of those skill areas.
Development of Cognition
Cognition is a fancy way of saying “understanding.” When kids play with cars, there are several ways to start to understand how the world works. For example, kids learn about cause and effect. If one drops their toy car down a ramp and it slides down, that’s an effect of putting it on the ramp in the first place.
In addition, kids might learn that an object can be made up of several different parts. So while a vehicle may be a “car,” that car can include wheels, windows, an engine, and more.
Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills consist of many small actions we can do with our hands, but among them are some of the most crucial hand movements that help us write, type, draw, and even swing a bat or a racket during our favorite sport.
Playing with toy cars helps develop dexterity and hand-eye coordination, and cars they can drive will help a child learn to use both hands simultaneously (for steering, for example).
Gross Motor Skills
Kids who have less confidence in moving their bodies so they don’t trip, fall, or otherwise hurt or embarrass themselves might find a solution in playing with a ride-in toy car. Climbing in and out of one, learning to shut the doors, buckle up, and enjoy the ride will all strengthen a child’s core and coordination.
Speech and Language Development
Specialists can use cars to coax children who struggle with learning words or speaking aloud into saying new words. Since cars are such a common vehicle in our world, learning the parts of a car is something they can practice often and with confidence from when they learned with their toy. Wheels, seat belts, engines, windshields, window wipers – there is much vocabulary development when talking about a vehicle.
Overall, it’s difficult to go wrong when you buy toy cars – big or small, red or pink; they’re all helpful in helping children develop many essential life skills throughout their entire childhood.
Plus, who doesn’t love pushing cars around, driving them with a remote, or watching a toddler learn how to use the gas pedal in their first Power Wheels?