Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Toys and Child Development
John A. Sutterby
Toys are an important part of play in many aspects. One aspect of toys is their relationship to how children develop into adults. Most modern theories of development see it as a combination of nature vs. nurture, in that we have certain milestones like walking or talking that are genetically programmed and that are also impacted by the environment around us. Toys are an important part of the environment for children. Animals, mostly mammals and birds, have objects that they play with. Human play also is frequently centered around toys. Toys serve many purposes for play: toys can serve as symbols or representations of real objects, and they can comfort children and provide ways to relieve stress. They can also spur physical activity or challenge manual dexterity. Toys can also serve as social connectors between different players. Play materials such as toys can impact children's development in several ways. First, ...