The desire to play is present in children of all ages and nationalities, with toys being the main props used during play. Evidence that children engage in play has been discovered dating as far back as Ancient Egypt and examples of children’s toys have been discovered in the form of wax and terracotta dolls, sticks, and bow and arrows in Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece. Throughout history, it appears that children have played with toys. Today, toy manufacturing is a multi-billion-pound industry, offering a vast selection of different types of toys.
What Are the Differences Between Tech Toys Vs Traditional Toys?
Although there are many different types of toys – these can be loosely categorised into two types – traditional toys and tech toys.
A traditional toy is often described as one made from wood or another type of natural fibre, this type of toy is not electronic and may be handmade. Common examples include dolls houses, play kitchens, wooden train sets, garages, figurines and so forth.
A tech toy by contrast, is typically an electronic toy, this may be in the form of a tablet, or another type of toy which lights up or plays music. Both types of toys can be beneficial to children – there are, however, some distinctive differences between the two.
Many types of traditional toys have been around for hundreds of years and continue to be manufactured across the globe for several reasons.
Traditional toys can offer great educational value, helping to support young children in reaching key developmental milestones. This is achieved by enhancing cognitive development, numeracy, and literacy skills. Seemingly simple toys such as numbered and lettered wooden building blocks can provide counting and vocabulary practice, shape, letter, and number recognition.
Language, Communication and Social Interaction
Playing with traditional toys encourages greater interaction amongst siblings and other children, but also between parents or caregivers and infants. Interactive play is important for children, helping them to develop essential social skills such as communication, turn taking, sharing, and learning to compromise, whilst helping to develop their communication and language skills. Traditional toys can support interactive play and at the same time nurture empathy and understanding for others.
Early childhood marks one of the most imaginative periods of a child’s life; creative or imaginative play affords the opportunity for children to express themselves and play freely, allowing them to let their imaginations run wild and become immersed in fictious scenes. Traditional toys provide the props for this type of play. Creative play may be inspired by real life events, such as at the supermarket, the restaurant, in the home etc. or it may be a fantastical fairy tale kingdom where dragons and fairies exist. This type of play not only offers escapism and enhances creativity, but also helps children to process the world around them and their own ideas, making this a mindful and comforting activity. Creative play can also be interactive and help to encourage sharing and enhance communication skills and another great advantage of traditional toys, is that many are open-ended toys which can be used for multiple purposes for extended periods of time.
Children are more likely to move around more and engage in physical activity when playing with traditional types of toys – this not only helps to provide an outlet for any pent-up energy, but also helps with dexterity, balance, and coordination.View our full range
Building Technological Awareness
Technology is integrated into many aspects of our lives, the use and understanding of technology is essential for the next generation. Becoming familiar with using gadgets at a young age can be beneficial, building awareness and helping the child learn to use technology which will undoubtedly be expected of them in the future.
Tech toys can be used to support educational projects – this is something which becomes especially important for older children. During the covid-19 related lockdowns and restrictions, a vast number of children were dependent on electronic gadgets to provide them with access to educational material and online activities. For younger children, this technology can also be utilised – many types of tech toys can help children with counting practice, letter, and shape recognition, helping to support the developmental phases.
Tech toys do undoubtedly offer much fun and entertainment, providing great enjoyment for children.
Although tech toys undoubtedly offer several benefits, parents and care providers may find it necessary to limit the time spent on electronic devices, especially screen time and in general greater supervision is required to ensure that the child remains physically and socially active. Many children nowadays have access to technology and gadgets from a young age; giving a child something to watch or play with on an electronic device is an easy way to keep them occupied and allow busy parents and care providers to get on with other things. However, this can result in excessively long periods of screen time per day – something which can have a negative impact on your child.
Sitting in a stationary position and staring at a screen for a long time can be harmful to both children and adults in a number of ways. It is extremely important for all children to remain fit and active – this is not only for the physical health of the child but also for their mental health and well-being too. Some tech toys or electronic devices can become addictive to children, and as with any addiction, there many be extreme emotional outbreaks involved when the object is removed.
Lower Social Skills
Many tech toys support individual play rather than interactive, face to face play with other children. If no time limits are put in place by care givers, this can lead to lower social skills and less emotional empathy and even to isolation in some cases, as children are less likely to socialise with their friends and participate in active games.
Less Is More
At Le Toy Van we are firm believers that a happy and healthy childhood is founded on balance and stability. A carefully selected assortment of traditional and tech toys can provide young children with the necessary props to help them engage in cognitively and physically stimulating, and emotionally rewarding play. Fewer select toys will not only enable your child to cherish and value their play time; but will also help towards a more eco-friendly and sustainable future with less waste.
We are a family run organisation offering a wide range of eco-friendly traditional toys for babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers. Our unique toys are designed to provide hours of fun and entertainment as well as supporting the developmental phases of the foundation years. For more information on our products and our organisation, get in touch today.