As your children grow, their minds are developing at an astonishing pace. They are learning things like object permanence, learning to imitate with the intent to communicate, learning language and independent thinking, as well as seeking answers to the many questions that will start to pop into their young minds.
Toys play an essential role in the development of a child’s mental and social skills. Your kids’ ability to interact healthily and positively with other children and adults in their life will mean that they have a better understanding of social interactions as they age and allow them to make friends easier, and assimilate into school systems–and later–careers, with more ease.
Games that help build social skills will help your child better understand concepts such as cause and effect, power-sharing, learning to love (and win) with grace, and how to share. This is especially important if your child is competitive and struggles with losing. Social skill building games can give you the opportunity to explain to your child how losing isn’t the end of the world.
If you’re looking for gift ideas for 4-year-old boy or girl, consider giving them a gift that will help them further develop their social skills with one of the following toys:
1. Age-appropriate board games
Board games help improve a child’s ability to focus and concentrate on a single task. The development of a healthy attention span and a child’s ability to concentrate will benefit them when they reach the age to start attending school. Board games also help teach children the concept of rules, and of losing gracefully.
- Building blocks
Construction or engineering sets or building blocks help to improve your child’s motor skills and imaginations, but they also help develop their social skills. Construction sets or building blocks can help teach children to share and to learn to work with others.
- Crafting sets
Macaroni art doesn’t just serve the purpose of covering up your fridge; it’s also great for a child’s mental development. Crafting with friends or classmates helps your child learn about logical planning, encourages their creativity, and helps them learn interpersonal skills, such as sharing visions or creative ideas, and delegating tasks.
- ‘Playing pretend’ toys
Toys like fake kitchens, train sets, and dress up games help expand your child’s imagination and allows them to imagine themselves in a variety of situations and scenarios. Your child will begin to learn their likes and dislikes and further interests if played alone. When played with other children, they will learn to share and to communicate and to trade power roles back and forth when playing things like ‘police’ or ‘conductor.’
- Maze builders
Maze toys may not seem like they will teach your child how their actions affect others, but these interactive puzzles encourage your child to think ahead and to understand the consequences of their actions. Maze builders that force your child to go back to the start when they fail to consider where their efforts will lead them in the game will help develop their ability to see how their actions affect things, animals, and other people in their greater lives.