Play is a fundamental aspect of human nature – it helps us make sense of the world and build skills. Babies play by rocking back and forth, wiggling their toes, waving their hands and responding with laughter. Throughout their early years, they have teething toys, play stations and a variety of soft toys to play with. Eventually, they graduate to toys that allow them to use their imagination to build stories and sometimes, whole worlds around.
Play is particularly crucial as children are highly attentive to social cues. (Ever see a kid trying to mimic their parents or older siblings?) Unisex toys are important to include in a child’s toy repertoire to include a variety of in order not to limit their imagination. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you have to put away the Barbies and the race cars, but rather, give your child the opportunity to build more skills from all kinds of play. Here are some tips and tricks on what kind of unisex toys you can add to the playroom!
- Tutti Frutti is a non-toxic scented modeling dough set that comes in a range of sets from cooking and baking to building cars and cities. This kind of play supports many learning and development areas socially, emotionally, mentally and physically. It allows kids to compare and contrast, work together on different parts of a larger idea, experiment, follow their curiosities and analyze and solve problems. Playing this way uses language skills, math – through proportions and measurements, and science – because of its hands-on nature.
Furthermore, it’s a great way for kids to come together and channel their extra energy into a final goal. Working with the malleable dough lets them use their energy to squeeze, roll and flatten the dough while they make decisions about what to do next. This also allows gives you, the parent, an opportunity to connect with them in their world about what they’ve made, what they’re doing and how they are going to achieve their final design.
- Games like Frogs bring boys and girls together to show off their skills, sharpen mental processes like reflexes, cultivate sportsmanship and teamwork and it helps to develop a sense of healthy competition. These are all valuable skills that translate into who they are as they grow up!
- Hungry Frogs is a game where you can battle against friends and family to see who can gobble up the most marbles before they are all gone. The board game is a load of fun for kids, keeps them occupied and engaged in their task to win. This game comes in a set with instructions and pieces.
- The Ringer is a game that involves colour coordination ring tossing. It encourages dexterity, focus, creativity and fine motor skills for young children and it’s a lot of fun! The game comes with a ring stand and a set of coloured rings made with non-toxic and child safe materials.
Unisex toys are a great way to unite siblings, playmates and even the entire family. Enjoy activities and games that will stimulate and inspire your child, develop their interests and create new connections.