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.
Encourages fine motor skill development.
An infant’s growth and development in the first year of life is rapid. Many movements that young babies make are in preparation for the next stage of their development. When young babies watch a mobile they are constantly moving their head, arms, legs and even their mouths in response to the movement of the toy. Sound and movement attract a baby’s attention; if a toy is placed almost within reach of babies their movements become more animated. Bath toys provide opportunities to develop and use motor skills to great effect. For example, a young baby has greater control over their leg movements than their arms. You will often see young babies in a bath reaching with their legs towards a floating toy and kicking. All these movements strengthen muscles in readiness for the next stage - walking. As babies develop they become more adept at grasping objects. Young infants learn to grasp an object, for instance a cube. The grasping, at first, is quite clumsy but through repetition, and across time, infants become adept at grasping and develop fine motor skills. Infants first use the ulnar grasp where their fingers close against the palm when trying to hold an object. Within another month they are able to move the object from hand to hand. After the first year, infants adopt the ‘pincer grasp’ where they use their thumb and index finger to grasp even very tiny objects. Shape sorters help infants to fine tune their visual perception and hand coordination. Soon infants are building towers with two cubes; this also requires fine coordination skills. As the child grows computer games have been shown to help with hand and eye coordination. Spatial skills can also be enhanced when playing games that require concentration, quick responses and finely tuned motor skills.
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.
Cool new Toot-Toot Drivers garage that comes complete with a Toot-Toot Stock Car.
Drive the stock car around the garage visiting the mechanic, fuelling up, parking and more
6 SmartPoint™ locations add to the fun by triggering fun phrases & sounds
Includes lots of tracks & manipulative areas for pretend and imitative play
Stock Car includes 3 songs & 6 melodies.
Best for ages:
1 to 5 Years
Repair, fuel up, wash and race all in one place with the Toot-Toot Drivers Fix and Fuel Garage.
Zoom into the learning zone with the Toot-Toot Drivers Fix & Fuel Garage! Complete with a speedy stock car your little one will love zooming around this garage visiting the different areas: get your stock car's fearsome engine serviced at the tuning station, fuel up with classic fuel or super-charged electricity! Park up and shop at the convenience store for supplies or visit the car wash to ensure your car is sparkling clean! Also features fun lift-able gates, swinging signs and lots of ramps to race around. Play set includes 6 SmartPoint™ locations that interact when driven over. (Additional SmartPoint™ vehicles sold separately).