Does your Child Need a Fire Engine and Fire Station?
Should You Get Your Child A Fire Engine?
If your child is obsessed with fire trucks and firefighters then you have no doubt considered getting them a fire engine toy.
These are popular toys for little ones and there are so many options available that it’s easy to think of these as must-have toys. But does your child really need a fire engine and fire station? Especially if you already feel as if your house is overflowing with toys.
Reasons to Buy a Fire Engine Toy
Apart from the obvious reason that your child really wants one, there are also lots of developmental benefits they can get from playing with a toy fire truck and station.
Children love engaging in small world play and make-believe, and as parents, we should encourage this as after all play is how they learn. And developing their imagination, creativity and other key skills is vital for their development and will affect their progress later in life.
No one can argue with the fact that firefighters are real-life heroes. They save lives every day, doing a job that is both physically and mentally demanding, and children love to pretend to be heroes. Not to mention the fact that playing with a toy fire engine is the perfect inroad to talking about fire safety as well as what to do in an emergency.
And of course children get all the benefits of imaginative small world play as they set up stories and act them out.
Playing with a fire engine toy and fire station can be great for emotional development. Children get to play different roles and think about how others might be feeling in the stories they are creating. If they are playing with other children they will also need to listen to each other and find ways of playing together so that everyone is happy.
Playing can also help children reflect on their own emotions, how it feels when they are scared or anxious, angry, excited or unsure. Small world play can offer a safe place to express and reflect upon these feelings and help prepare them for how to deal with them in future.
Playing with a toy fire engine and the station is also great for physical development as they need good fine motor skills to manipulate the ladders and hoses, the same skills they will need to hold a pencil and form letters when they get to school.
Children also develop spatial awareness and coordination as they play. Very young children might constantly bash into their railway track for example but with practice, they learn to pick their way between the tracks without knocking it out of alignment.
Playing pretend is also great for a child’s intellectual development. They are learning to solve problems, think critically and employ reason and logic. They learn about concepts such as cause and effect and how gravity affects the things they are playing with. And they are constantly developing their language skills as they act out their stories and recite made-up conversations.
What if you can’t afford it or don’t have space?
However while a fire engine might be a nice toy to have, children already have something even better, their imaginations, and learning that they can pretend anything they like is a fire truck and fire station is equally good for their development and much better for your bank balance and toy storage.
We all know how often the box a present comes in gets more attention than the present itself. This is because it comes without restrictions, it is nothing and so it can be anything you want it to be, and children understand this far better than we do even if they need a little encouragement every now and again.
Next Up: Wooden Fire Engines for Kids