Playtime: Families, Toys, and the Pandemic

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Toys played crucial roles for families during the pandemic. The toy industry experienced a historic year despite the unfortunate circumstances that the global pandemic brought. While other companies suffered severe losses, toy sales skyrocketed.

After almost a year of lockdowns and sheltering-in-place, toys presented an avenue for families to help ease their stress and anxieties. Not to mention the fact that toys are proven to have significant benefits for young children.

Learn Through Play

Helping with childhood development is one of the most critical roles toys can have for families. Younger children are keen to learn more about the world and their environment through experience. Having specific toys that can cater to their growing curiosity will significantly improve various skills.

While it’s not necessarily a revolutionary method, combining learning and playtime became a viable option for parents. Since most nurseries and schools closed down, investing in educational toys can easily make learning more fun and engaging for children.

There’s a vast collection of toys to choose from. There could be board games and blocks. Some could be made from wood, while others are custom-molded through plastic injection. Regardless of the form or material, these are the important aspects parents should consider when buying educational toys.

Developmental Element

Younger children have so much to learn through toys. These simple items can have significant effects on their social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. Many toys usually focus on a single developmental area alone.

When choosing educational toys, go for the ones that will offer growth in more than one developmental area. This will help a child develop broader skill sets that are necessary, such as motor skills and problem-solving skills. It will help shape a child to be more well-rounded early on.

Durability and Safety

Consider investing in toys that will be able to withstand a lot of abuse. Younger children often have impulses to drop, throw, or even bite on things. These are all necessary habits that help in developing their organization and coordination.

Avoid purchasing toys that are too fragile. When toys break, a child may be curious to pick some pieces up and put them in their mouth. This could pose a choking hazard. Make sure that toys are made of thick plastic or wood that’s not easy to break but also safe enough for a child to use.

Technology

mother son taking an online class together

There is a common divide in the involvement of technology in a young child’s learning. Some parents would rather keep their child tech-free during their younger years. Other parents are all for letting their child see some screen-time once in a while.

There are viable options for both sides that are fun and productive. For the more traditional approach, there are always classic blocks and button-pushing toys to keep the learning interactive. Child-safe tablets and applications, on the other hand, are available for parents who rely more on technology.

It Runs in the Family

The drastic increase in toy sales during the global pandemic can be attributed to other factors, not just for childhood development. There are also certain benefits that buying toys brought to entire families, especially during these times of uncertainty. Here are other essential reasons that made toys relevant in the previous year.

More Family Time

As work-from-home and online learning became common, parents and children had more time to form connections. Playing with toys turned into an avenue for families to spend more time together. They found value in incorporating the joy of playing into their daily lives.

This trend of promoting togetherness is expected to continue into the year despite the easing of lockdowns and sheltering-in-place. More families will be looking for cross-generational toys, like nostalgic board games or puzzles, that will cater to their varying interests and abilities.

Young at Heart

Toys aren’t necessarily just for kids to enjoy. Parents also turned to toys during the global pandemic to help take their minds off all the negativity. It presented some form of escapism for adults, especially with all the tragic realities they were facing.

For some parents, toy collecting became their form of wellness. Tensions can often build up after being cooped up indoors for an extensive period. Having the opportunity to rekindle with their inner child provided a lot of emotional support.

The Right Values

Character development is also crucial at such a young age. Families also looked to toys that fostered social responsibilities to shape children into future citizens who were more aware. Certain toy manufacturers made sure that their products would promote the right principles.

Children were able to see more diversity and cultural awareness in dolls and action figures. Toys were made and packaged through eco-friendly means to show the importance of sustainability. Different advocacies were manifested through everyday items for kids.

At the end of the day, there’s so much more depth when considering how vital toys truly are. There are plenty of benefits that families can gain from these items that are seemingly naive. Parents shouldn’t skip out on these playthings.

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