Toys for Self-Expression
Why is it important to engage your child with creative play? Well, experts in Child Development say that through creative and imaginative play, our little ones grow emotionally, socially, intellectually and physically—that’s a lot of easy wins just by picking the right toys.
Creative experiences also enable your kids to communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas. Whether through solo or collaborative play, creative toys can help with communicative processing. Take an easel, for instance. This blank canvas can be used to engage in paired communication or to self-express through solo play.
Child Psychologists have discovered that toddler ‘’behavioural outbursts’’ (otherwise known as the Terrible Twos) are mainly caused by a child’s lack of ability to express their anger and frustration verbally as adults do. In other words, toddlers who aren’t yet speaking struggle most with expressing how they feel and rely on creative toys to do this.
Creative vs Imaginative
It is not uncommon for parents to ask the difference between imaginative and creative play, as these two areas of development often do get confused. In short, creative play is to contextualise the real world whereas imaginative play can be entirely ’make-believe’’.
A child’s imagination can be harnessed to create and that’s why creative toys are so important because they engage both of these key development areas. For example, if you ask a child to draw a house, they will use their imagination to push the boundaries of that creation—perhaps it would have pink walls, a fluffy roof, and 16 front doors. It really doesn’t matter how ‘’real’’ the drawing looks, just that they use the exercise to express themselves.
With your child’s non-verbal self-expression, you really want to leave the door as wide open as possible. A blank canvas if you will. That is why easels, blackboards and craft kits are so great—the sky’s the limit.
Musical Toys are also so fantastic because they speak a universal language. Across the world, different cultures communicate using the language of music, so it’s perfect to bridge the gap for tiny tots who are still learning language and looking for some self-expression. Music also plays a key part in language therapy for non-verbal children with speech and language delays. Check out our top musical toys below to start their creative communication today!