A century ago, there was no great debate about what kinds of toys were best for children. All toys were handmade, simply designed, and constructed from natural materials. The last thing that all these old-fashioned toys had in common: a welcoming of kids’ imagination.
Imagination is precisely the missing ingredient today for many toys on the market. Electronic toys are celebrated for their interactive abilities, but they come at the expense of creative play. While these toys are helpful for entertaining purposes, traditional toys are still the best for engaging children’s imagination because they encourage thinking outside the box.
Here are a couple toys and activities that still require the magic of the inner-worlds:
We talk a lot about blocks because they are one of the most effective toys of all time for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Wooden blocks are great for balancing, soft blocks are safe for unsupervised play, and Lego-style blocks are the gold standard for building. There’s no rule books or skill-levels for these classic toys: the child’s own imaginative capabilities is what decides the level of play and interaction.
Costumes are a wonderful thing to have around the house, any time of year. Period pieces, hats and stage jewelry, and funny dresses can provide hours of imaginative play for children. Not only that, but dress-up allows kids to flex their identities as they imagine being other people. This is a great activity for perspective building and gender development as well.
More imagination-based toys and activities soon.