Passive play vs Active play with toys in the early years, what’s the difference?
When children are playing they want to be engaged, developing different skills, sparking their imagination. Children are naturally curious they like to explore, experiment the world around them.
Have you ever thought of the type of toys you have contribute to the way your children play especially in their early developmental stages!
During children’s early years you want them to develop the following skills through play, fine motor, gross motor, speech and language, social and emotional, problem solving and creativity.
Have a look around your playroom or toy collection, count how many toys are push button toys (singing songs, saying colours) alternatively how many are open ended with endless possibilities.
Let’s evaluate the educational value of push button toys. When playing for the child they are classified as passive.
Do you need to think, will they be problem solving, creative, developing fine and gross motor skills? (Example of a push button toy is one that tells you colours or songs the alphabet)
Then there is open ended toys (Example is building blocks, matchbox cars, linking cubes, rainbow pebbles) are active play as the child is doing the playing. Here they need to use their imagination, be creative, problem solve and develop their fine/gross motor skills.
When evaluating the educational value of a toy we look at who is doing the work you or the toy and what skills do they cater to especially while playing!
Which toys do the children engage with more from your observations, which toys spark their imaginations and allow creative and active play.
So next time you are looking at buying, think about the educational value, will it be fun, creative, spark and inspire your children’s imagination….
Can my older children play with it as well?