Summer is upon us – it’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times (you know what I’m talking about). On those hot mornings when you’ve already burned through three cups of coffee and cleaned up a half-dozen messes, you need something creative that is going to keep the kids busy, entertained – and out of your hair. Calling all little artists, musicians, and adventurers! Dive into a world of imaginative play with our carefully selected creative summer activities at Toys Central. Let the summer fun begin!
While there are countless toys to inspire creative play and fun kids’ games on Toys Central, we will shout out some of our favorites to keep your kids entertained and educated this summer.
The Importance of Play
Leading child healthcare professionals agree that play is vital to forming children’s brains. Play promotes the development of many cognitive skills and builds pathways to more complicated levels of thought. There are many different kinds of play, and each kind encourages a different type of thinking.
We’re going to share each type of play plus one of our favorite kids’ toys that suits that kind of play and enhances early childhood development.
This type of play helps children to learn rhythm and patterns, and exposes them to many different kinds of sounds. This can improve listening skills as well as understanding cause and effect. Toys Central has many different kinds of music toys – from real child ukuleles to more silent pretend instruments. One of our favorite toys for music play is the Imaginarium Trio Music Set.
This type of play is highly imaginative and often follows a theme – detective, doctor, cook, etc. In this type of play, children use their concentration and organization skills to gather tools for their play. Pretend play enhances a child’s understanding that objects or images can be representational of another object. There are so many different kinds of Pretend Play that we have a whole section of our website dedicated to it…check it out!
Art play can enhance a child’s understanding of color, shape, and textures. They are given the opportunity to sort and classify objects. Art can also improve a child’s observational skills as they are asked to draw what they see. One of our favorite tools to encourage artistic play is the Young Artist Easel by Art Alternatives. This easel can be moved indoors or outdoors, helps contain artistic endeavors to the toy and not to the walls, and can be used by your children for years.
Block play helps children to learn the principles of balance, gravity, and cause and effect. It also encourages children to problem solve as only some blocks will stay put. One of our favorite block sets is this one by Top Bright – it includes alphabet blocks with animals corresponding to each letter, multiple different shapes and textures, and an easy way to store them all!
Sensory play involves engaging a child’s senses with materials that they may not often come into play access to – sand, water, mud, etc. Measuring sensory materials provides children with a risk-free environment to test hypotheses, learn measurements, and experiment without fear of being “messy.” For younger children, you’ll probably want something like a water table – we have tons at Central Toys! For older children, a slime kit might be just the thing for sensory-seeking kiddos that can supervise themselves.
Toys with interlocking pieces, such as logos or magnetic blocks, are considered manipulative toys. This type of play is appropriate for younger and older children, as it scales in difficulty as they age. Manipulative play involves sorting, distinguishing patterns, shape recognition, and more. While Toys Central has many different kinds of Lego kits, one of our favorite manipulative toy sets is this one by Plus Plus – 2600 pieces that can be used to build functioning toy vehicles!
Tons of Ways to Keep Your Kids Entertained During the Summer
Get ready for a summer of endless fun! Explore the magic of Creative Summer Activities like sensory play, problem-solving with blocks, and creating masterpieces with art toys. Find them all at Toys Central! There are many types of play that all serve to develop a child’s cognitive and social function. Toys Central has a wide variety of toys to suit every type of play – check out our selection today!