Creative play, also known as pretend or imaginative play provides children with a form of escapism and an opportunity to express themselves freely. This type of play takes numerous forms and can be based on complete fantasy - a fairy tale kingdom, or inspired by a real-life scenes and events, such as at the restaurant, the police station, playing families at home etc. – the possibilities are endless.
Stacking toys are any type of toy which involves mounting one piece on top of the other, popular examples include ABC Wooden Blocks and Stacking Rings. Children can build and stack blocks independently, helping them to develop a wide range of skills as well as helping to keep them busy.
A traditional toy is typically thought of as non-electronic, made from materials such as wood or other types of natural fibres, and often handmade. Examples of popular types of traditional style toys include dolls houses, play kitchens or work-stations shops, garages, cars, trains, shopping carts and more.
Also known as pretend or make-believe play, role-play allows children to explore new identities by adopting a character or persona and acting out its role. This type of play and its associated themes may be fictitious - a fairy, wizard, troll etc. - or it may imitate real life occupational roles, such as a teacher, shopkeeper, parent, doctor and so forth.
The history of toy-like figures is well documented. Archaeologists have discovered toys dating back several thousand years and some of the earliest examples were found in ancient Egypt, where miniature homes intricately furnished and decorated with wooden figures of people and animals, were discovered in the Old Kingdom.
By the time a child has reached the age of three years they begin to move out of the toddler phase - with this comes significant development and much greater independence, both physically and emotionally. These advancements bring a demand for greater stimulation, both physical and cognitive. The three to four-year old is learning at a rapid pace and thrives with a supportive and nurturing environment - the role of play is key to this phase.
Most parents at some stage would like to know if their child is where they ought to be in terms of their learning and developmental abilities, and question whether their child is ahead of other children, behind or average. In order to determine this, a number of societies have outlined developmental milestones (these may vary according to culture) which define what a child should be able to do at a certain age.