There are all kinds of toys that can aid your child’s intellectual development. In this article we’ll focus on how soft toys are helpful for cognitive development.
If you subscribe to a parenting magazine or visit parenting sites, you know that experts recommend that you choose toys that help your child’s cognitive development.
While that is all well and good, such statements leave many parents feeling confused and unsure regarding the type of toys they should be offering their children.
When most parents think of toys for their child’s cognitive development, they think of toys such as shape sorters, puzzles, and games. While all these types of toys are helpful for your child’s cognitive development, soft toys are an excellent choice as well.
But what is cognitive development and how can soft toys contribute to this development?
What is Cognitive Development?
Cognitive development is simply the way in which the brain processes information, applies new knowledge, and figures out how things work.
Children, especially young children, use their 5 senses to process information and make sense out of their world. That means that kids use their sense of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing in their cognitive development.
For example, babies quickly learn things like the smell of their mother and father, the sound of their voice, and the warmth of being held. This is why a fussing baby often calms down simply by hearing their parent’s voice.
Once we understand that kids use all of their senses in their cognitive development, it makes sense that soft toys can be helpful in that development. But let’s take a look at some specifics.
Learning About Textures
Most parents don’t give young infants hard toys or objects that can hurt them. The first toys babies play with tend to be soft and are often made from cloth.
However, different types of cloth have a different feel to them and your infant begins learning about textures through handling and touching these soft objects.
Some textures of soft toys feel better and are more comforting than others. That’s why your little one may prefer a certain blanket or toy over others they are offered.
Learning The Difference Between Hard And Soft
If a child is only given toys made out of plastics and wood, they will never learn the difference between hard and soft.
During young children’s cognitive growth, they learn to compare objects through touch and sight. Providing your child with both soft and hard toys allows them to compare the two and figure out how they’re different.
For example, a child learns that dropping a soft object makes less noise than dropping a hard object.
They also learn that soft objects tend to be lighter than hard objects that are the same size.
Cognitive Development Through Mimicking Behavior
Children also develop more understanding about the world by mimicking adult behavior they see.
Soft toys such as stuffed animals and dolls allow kids to imitate nurturing behaviors and practice comforting behaviors they’ve experienced. These types of toys also help kids practice their verbal skills and learn names of various animals and objects.
Toys such as puzzles and stacking toys definitely aid in your child’s cognitive development. But soft toys are also a very important part of your child’s cognitive development, providing them with a different type of learning experience.