Even young babies can discriminate between a small set of objects and a large set of objects. Young children learn to match their culture’s number words and symbols (e.g. 1, 2, and 3) to specific quantities. Research has shown that maths skills can improve with practice; young children who are given plenty of opportunity to work and play with numbers and counting will improve their basic maths skills. Counting rhymes are very popular with babies and young children and teach them basic maths concepts in a fun way. A young child may make mistakes when learning to count (e.g. missing out the number 6 when counting 10 bricks). But this young child is still demonstrating the basic maths ability; linking number words to actual numbers, realising that each item can only have one number word, and that the numbers have a sequence. Number games, learning about sequences and singing counting rhymes all help to enhance children’s basic maths skills. Repetition is also important, for instance, singing counting rhymes over and over again gets babies used to number words and their sequence. Toys that count as babies, for instance, place bricks in a slot and computer games that present children with fun maths problems are also useful learning tools. Play and practice with numbers is fun for babies and is essential for the development of young children’s understanding of quantity.
Rewards baby as they learn that their actions have reactions
Babies are exploring and experimenting with the world almost from the day they are born. Cause and effect is a scientific concept that babies learn very early in their lives. A delightful example of this is when babies begin to explore gravity by dropping toys whilst sitting in their highchair. The toy drops downwards and makes a noise as it hits the floor. Parents will tend to pick the toy up and return it to the infant. This enables the baby to continue with their experiment and learn more about cause and effect; babies learn a great deal through repetition and it is good to facilitate opportunities where babies can begin to understand that, for instance, a toy will always fall to the ground. This type of learning through cause and effect continues throughout childhood. Encouraging children to be curious about the world facilitates learning through experience. Toys that reliably make a noise when pressed, pulled or touched teach babies that their actions have an effect on the world. VTech bath toys with their pouring and squirting features encourage cause and effect awareness. Children demonstrate that they have understood the concept of cause and effect when they talk about the consequence of actions. Before children use spoken language researchers discover what young infants understand about the world by presenting them with unexpected events. For example, babies are beginning to understand that toys reliably fall to the ground and that if a toy train goes into a tunnel it will come out the other end. If babies are presented with an unexpected event where, for example, a moving toy train disappears behind a screen but does not come out the other end they will stare for a long time at the screen. VTech toys offer babies and children the opportunity to learn more about cause and effect by pressing buttons and listening to the sounds, moving toys around and playing educational computer games.
Imagination and exploration through interaction with characters.
Children’s imagination is active from an early age. Imaginative play has links to what psychologists call ‘social pretend play’. Young children pretend or imagine that, for instance a wooden block is a cake and they carefully ‘cut’ it. A large proportion of pretend play tends to be social. Imaginative play begins when infants play and pretend with adults. As young children develop they begin to try to engage other children in social pretend play. Young children in nursery benefit from engaging in imaginative play. It helps them to begin to understand that other children think differently to them and have different ideas. Children can engage in imaginative play with other children where they have agreed on a story or scenario that they want to act out. Young children playing with toys use their imagination to invent scenarios and play out the consequences. They can use characters to explore scenarios and act out scripts such as going shopping or bedtime. Imaginative and social pretend play is beneficial for children as it allows them to explore different ways of viewing the world. Children who use their imagination when playing with other children are increasing their social competence and their understanding of other people. In a study where we observed children playing in a nursery we found that young children engaged in imaginative play, often using the toys in unexpected ways. Children’s imagination benefits from the opportunity to play with all types of toys.
Introduces the alphabet, letter sounds and vocabulary.
Babies start to babble at an early age and this can be seen as the first signs of language. They are predisposed to pick up the sounds of the language that they hear around them. Adults can facilitate babies’ language development by playing with them, focussing on particular toys, reading books and naming everyday objects. The more babies are exposed to language the faster they will begin to pick up it up. There are social skills involved in language acquisition such as realising that it is necessary to wait until the other person has finished speaking. Babies begin to learn about conversational turn-taking from an early age; if a baby is babbling the adult waits for a pause and then talks to the baby. Babies learn to take turns even before they are using words. Social interaction is important for language development and turn-taking games are a fun and educational way for babies and young children to learn. Young children also need to practice their language skills. Toys that name alphabet letters and everyday words satisfy young children’s need for repetition and rehearsal when practicing words and sounds. For instance, young children can press a button repetitively to hear the same sound or word again. Babies and children learn a lot through repetition and pick up words rapidly in this way. Once children begin to read their vocabulary expands enormously.
Develops imagination and encourages cooperation, listening and turn-taking.
Role play is a form of social pretend play. Children benefit from social pretend play because it can help them to revisit events that may have provoked some anxiety in the past. For instance, after a visit to the doctors children often play at being doctors and nurses. Role play not only reflects but also contributes to children’s cognitive and social skills. Playing out an experience enables children to understand more about it. Research has shown that during social pretend play, young children’s interactions last longer, are more engaging and also more cooperative. Nursery school children who spend more time in socio-dramatic role playing are also perceived as more socially competent by their teachers. Role play enhances many cognitive abilities such as sustained attention, memory, language and literacy skills, and helps children to understand and manage their emotions. Role play is generally a social activity but some children can engage in solitary role play where they create imaginary companions. Games where children can create worlds and populate them with their own characters can be beneficial.
Treat Time Marshall comes with 4 modes; Letter Treats, Learning Rescue, Search & Rescue and Music Time!
Feed Marshall pup treats and he will teach you colours, letters, phonics firefighter facts, music and more!
Featuring the real voice of Marshall!
Encourages imaginative play, basic maths skills, language development and more!
Best for ages:
3 to 6 Years
Treat Time Marshall comes with 4 fun modes which teach your child. Feed Marshall treats to learn colours, letters, phonics and more!
Ready for a Ruff-ruff Rescue! It’s Marshall the Firefighter Dalmatian! VTech presents Treat Time Marshall, featuring the real voice of Marshall! Treat Time Marshall comes with 4 modes; Letter Treats, Learning Rescue, Search & Rescue and Music Time mode. Feed Marshall pup treats and he will teach you colours, letters and phonics! That’s not all; Marshall will teach fun firefighter facts, vocabulary and play music! Treat Time Marshall encourages imaginative play, basic maths skills, language development and more! Now you can help Marshall on his ruff-ruff Rescue missions and keep Adventure Bay safe! Paw Patrol is on a roll!