Play is a fundamental part of children’s learning. Children are hands-on, kinaesthetic learners, who
learn best through experience. Play is the foundation for all areas of development. It aids in the
development of motor-skills, social and emotional well being, cognition, creative skills and language
Where do Toys Fit In?
So where do toys come into all of this? Play is nearly always based around toys and equipment. They
provide endless opportunities for play and learning. For example, the humble ball is used for kicking, catching, throwing and passing, rolling. Many children will make up their own games and sports in different settings. Children have great imagination and play with toys in many different ways.
A Life Without Toys
Without toys children are disadvantaged in several different aspects. For example, without crayons,
pencils, paper, play dough, books and engaging activities for our fingers, we cannot expect a child’s
fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination to flourish. It is extremely likely that a child with no
opportunities for fine motor play may present hand writing problems and poor fine motor skills for
Adults often underestimate the importance of toys, but the truth is children learn much more
through play and hands on experience, than from any other means of teaching. Look for toys at OO
for information on loads of new toys.
What are they Learning?
So what exactly are children learning when they play? Dramatic play and props build children’s social
and emotional skills, play money assists with counting and maths, interactive toys provide a solid
understanding of cause and effect, climbing, playing catch and sports enhance motor skills, puzzles
are great for cognition, and books great for literacy.
Most importantly, childhood should be about discovery, exploration, growing, developing and