Soft and Textured Toys
Infants and toddlers need the opportunity to participate in a world filled with opportunities for sensory experiences! The brain learns about the external world through the sensory system, including: sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. Repeated sensory stimulation strengthens the brain’s connections, which supports learning and development!
Touch is an important aspect of development from birth. Infants and toddlers use their sense of touch to learn about the world around them. Materials should be light, easy to grasp and offer a variety of textures and temperatures. For example, wood is warm and inviting, while plastics tend to be cold.
Kids enjoy producing sound effects with materials too, though you’ll find toddlers tend not to like loud or sudden noises – fabrics and soft toys with rattles absorb sound to reduce loud/sudden noises!
Let your little one explore the toys with their sense of touch. Keep in mind babies use their mouths to explore objects as well so ensure the toys are durable and washable!
Ask your child to describe the feel of different textures on the toys – using descriptive words like soft and cuddly or rough and hard.
Let your child test out their emotions and social skills with these soft toys. Your child may throw, hug, kiss the toys – which lets them work through challenges and explore emotions.
Promote Life Skills
Soft toys generally become companions for kids, so they’re perfect for rehearsing daily tasks, conversational skills and social interaction with – often mimicking what they see and do at home. They might feed, change, and bath these toys. This lets kids act out their observations and practise the activities they do on a daily basis from a different perspective – great for building life skills and emotional-social development.
Soft toys may be used in imaginative play, acting out different adventures, being someone to have a conversation with.