Here’s a question we get asked all the time: What are the physical benefits of shape sorter toys for children?
Shape sorter toys provide a range of physical, developmental and emotional benefits, while also providing your child with the essential fun factor of an engaging toy.
These types of toys can keep your child entertained and amused for hours on end because they provide them with a challenge they’re keen to solve. Their excitement and joy when they place a shape in the correct hole on the shape sorter is beyond measure!
Let’s go into a bit more detail about what types of toys fall into this category and what the benefits of shape sorter toys are for your child.
What Is A Shape Sorter?
A shape sorter is a classic toy that helps your child learn how to put three dimensional shapes into the corresponding shaped sized holes in the sorter.
In most cases shape sorter toys usually contain various shaped blocks or objects that children try to fit into slots of the same shape as the object.
Many shape sorter toys are self contained boxes in which children fit the block into the slot. The block then falls into the storage area where it remains until your child dumps the box again.
The idea behind shape sorter boxes is to provide your child with hands on learning which is where the physical benefits of a shape sorter toy come into play.
What Are The Physical Benefits Of Shaper Sorter Toys?
As well as being a very educational toy, providing an invaluable learning experience for your toddler, shape sorter toys provide your child with a range of important physical benefits as well.
Here is a look at some of the physical benefits of shape sorter toys.
Development of Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills are the ability to control the movement of the small muscles of the body. These muscles help your child do things such as pick up items and hold a pencil or pen.
In order for these muscles to function well, they need to be exercised.
Providing your child with a shape sorter toy where there are blocks of different shapes for them to pick up and manipulate helps develop their fine motor skills.
A sense of touch is very important, and shape sorter toys of all kinds give your child an opportunity to physically touch items, helping with their tactile development.
By touching the different shapes, your child actually can feel whether an object is soft or hard, has gentle curves or hard edges.
Shape sorter toys encourage tactile exploration and development in a very simple way.
Problem Solving Through Trial and Error
Very young children learn how to problem solve through trial and error, and shape sorter toys allow your child plenty of opportunity to problem solve on their own.
Through trial and error, they try putting one shape in each hole until they finally find the right hole for the shape.
Physically being able to manipulate objects to solve problems helps your child gain practical knowledge and understanding.
Shape sorter toys actually help your child develop their visual perception. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘seeing is believing’ and this is certainly true to our understanding at any age.
For example, a young child has no idea what effect his actions can have, but through toys like shape sorters, your child begins to gain knowledge about cause in effect.
When they place a block in the right hole and the block falls into the box, your child quickly learns that their actions of putting in the block in the hole makes it disappear from sight. They then learn that when they open the box, the block is there.
Eventually through play, your child makes the connection that their actions simply cause the block to drop into the box.
It is through their visual perception that your child eventually learns about shapes, colors, and more.
Helps A Child Better Understand the Physical World Around Them
Shape sorter toys also help children begin to better understand the physical world around them.
They learn that no matter what shape the hole is, if they place an object smaller than the hole into any slot, the object will drop in the box. At the same time, they learn that objects larger than the hole are never going to fit into the slot.
Your child will take this physical skills they learn and adapt them for everyday life in time.
Hand Eye Co-ordination
Through the repeated action of picking up a shape and trying to place it in one of the holes in the shape sorter toy, your child will develop and improve their hand eye co-ordination skills.
Initially, your toddler, if they are very young, my take a few attempts to take the shape in their hand and direct it towards a hole in the shape sorter.
They may get distracted and drop the shape, or they might place the shape to the side of the hole as opposed to over it.
But over time, as their hand eye co-ordination significantly improves, they will be able to take a shape and in one movement, place it into the correct hole on the box.
Shape sorter toys have been around for generations because they provide essential physical benefits to a child’s development.
While these shape sorters have evolved and become more colorful over time, the main goal has stayed the same: To help your child develop and improve those important early childhood physical skills.
Purchasing a variety of toys such as shape sorters, simple wooden puzzles, and building blocks will give your child a variety of physical learning benefits while providing them with hours of fun.