Why IRL Play Is Here to Stay
Feb 10, 2018
Kids today are growing in a completely new world. From the moment they’re born, they’re surrounded by technology. And it’s now totally normal to see preschoolers and young children playing games on smartphones and tablets the way previous generations played with rattles and building blocks.
And while digital games are a part of most families’ lives and can be a fun way to keep kids busy on their own, there are some ways virtual toys can never quite compare to real thing.
1. Real Toys Are Limitless
Real toys and games invite your child to push their creativity and use their imagination.
For example, construction toys are a great way to challenge your little one’s mind. They can be used to create anything from animals to towers – or towering animals for that matter! On the other hand, digital games are like closed boxes where the player can only do what the programmers let them.
But with real-world toys — be it vehicles, plushies or cute characters that let them tell stories — your child thinks and plays outside of the box.
2. Play Outside The Box
Playing with real toys helps young children’s physical development – whether it’s the fine motor skills they build grasping and stacking blocks of different sizes, or the gross motor skills they practice while leading around pull-toys like the Elephant Parade.
And although real toys take longer to clean up than virtual ones, pick-up with real toys counts as motor skills practice.
3. Take Social Back
While digital games are great at keeping children busy, physical toys help teach children how to play and interact with each other.
Imagine there’s only one block left of a certain color. Your little builder will have to read their playmate’s expression to figure out who gets the block. It’s a natural way to learn about empathy, cooperation and communication.
At the end of the day, those kinds of lessons in emotional and social intelligence come from real-world experiences, not virtual ones.