This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TargetToys #CollectiveBias
I have a background in preschool- in fact, I have a Bachelors in Early Childhood and Masters in Teaching with a specialization in Early Childhood. One of the main conversations preschool teachers have with parents is around the value off play. Play is the primary way young children learn and in a generation where technology is dominate, children need hands on play experiences more than ever! Today I wanted to talk a bit about imaginative play and best toys and reasons for this valuable learning opportunity.
Imaginative play is anything where children are interacting, role playing and creating stories using a variety of toys from dolls to stuffed animals to play kitchens and all the accessories in between. The opportunities to learn are endless, but here are my top 5 (in no particular order) reasons children need this type of play.
1. Exploration of Social Roles: Children that pretend to be fire fighters and police officers are exploring the roles of community helpers, those playing with dolls are usually exploring parental roles. Either way, this play gives them the opportunity to interact with their perceptions of these roles and their importance. As for boys with dolls, they need to learn how to be good daddies too!
2. Social Skills: When children interact in cooperative imaginative play, they are working together to create a story which takes communication. This verbal exchange is great for problem solving as well as exploring basic language skills.
3. Self Help Skills: All of the buttons, snaps, velcro and zippers on doll clothes are a great way for children to practice these kills during play that will help in their own abilities to get dressed on their own.
4. Fine Motor Skills: Much like the self help skills above, all of the changing of outfits and shoes are a great way to work on fine motor skills in little fingers. The more children work with their hands, the more control they get over the small muscles and this progress shows greatly in their writing and cutting skills.
5. FUN! While play has a number of valuable attributes- it is just fun for children to play. If children are enjoying themselves then the are engaged in the activity which lengthens the time they are interacting with the activity which gives a great opportunity for all the above points as well as many more!
You want to know what is better than play and all it’s benefits? Being able to shop online, at home, in your pajamas and EASILY using the new Toy Emporium on Target’s website. I love shopping online anyways because it is much easier, especially this time of year, to get things for Avery, but also extra gifts for later and all while multitasking in my pajamas and with my favorite coffee mug. When she was a baby it was easy to sneak things into the cart, but now, not so much. Plus, with the new Toy Emporium, there are sections sorting the toys based on types of play including Build, Create, Explore, Imagine, Move and Discover. All online and, maybe my favorite part, that is completely unrelated, is that Target now accepts Paypal, makes shopping a little more guilt free for me at least!
The My Generation doll (Kendra to be specific) came from the Imagine section and as far as the prices of 18″ personalized dolls go- this has a much better price than it’s more expensive counterpart. An added bonus is that Avery loves getting anything in the mail!