Why Are Sorting Toys Good Toys for Early Development?
Sorting toys provide numerous physical, emotional, cognitive and developmental benefits while still being fun and engaging to play. These toys are designed to keep children entertained for hours because they provide them a fun and simple challenge that they love to solve. Most children would be excited to fit the right shape into the correct hole on the sorter or sorting the same coloured pieces together. These toys appeal to children because they are easy to play. All they need to do is sort each piece based on visual qualities and characteristics. They can sort these pieces according to either similarities or differences.
Sorting playsets have been around for many years and while they have evolved into many different forms, the way to play them really hasnít changed that much. There are many varieties of these toys. There is the classic shape sorter which consists of a sorter with holes and pieces in different shapes. Then there are many other variants like honeybees and beehives of different colours. Sorting activities like those promoted by these toys help children develop a wide range of thinking skills and problem-solving. The ability to identify patterns as well as recognise and discernment of different attributes and characteristics allow children to learn about basic mathematics and problem-solving.
These toys are designed with little children in mind. This means each piece of any sorting playset can be picked up and manipulated by childrenís tiny hands. Using the hands and fingers to hold toys is good practice for developing fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. Fine motor skills are abilities that involve precise movements of a small group of muscles like those of the hands, fingers and wrists. When a child picks up a toy and inserts it to the corresponding sorter, she is using her fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. Children need to develop these skills at an early age to be able to perform purposeful movements when they become more independent. For example, buttoning a shirt, tying shoelaces or using a pair of scissors.
These toys come in a wide range of shapes and colours. Probably the most popular type of sorting toy is the shape sorter. Shapes and colours are among the first lessons parents teach to their children. Our world is made of different shapes and colours. When children can easily identify shapes, they will not have a hard time learning about numbers and letters. Letters and numbers are made of shapes too. For example, if a child can identify a circle then she can easily recognise the letter O and the number 0.
Visual discrimination is the ability to recognize details in visual images. It allows students to identify and recognize the likeness and differences of shapes/forms, colors and position of objects, people, and printed materials. Colour recognition also helps with visual discrimination which is the ability to recognise visual details in images. It allows children to identify an object's characteristics and attributes like colour.
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