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Playing with toys can go a very long way in shaping a wholesome and healthy personality. A child acquires the fundamental self esteem necessary for a good life.

One of the main advantages of play is that it encourages a child's cognitive development.

Imaginative play
Between the ages of 3 to 5 years your child's imagination really takes off. Children transform everyday effects for use in their imaginary worlds for e.g. A blanket draped over chairs makes a house or castle. A bed can be a boat, dolls and teddies and other stuff toys become playmates. Dressing-up clothes and a few props can add to the fun of imaginative games. Old toys may be rediscovered and used in new of different ways.

Building houses, vehicles and other structures
Wooden building blocks or train sets can be incorporated into his imaginative games. As parents if you talk about what he is building, his vocabulary and understanding can be stretched. More complex shape words like cylinder, cube and pyramid can be used and understood.

Puzzles and jigsaws
At this stage your child may be ready for more advanced puzzles which encourage him to plan ahead and think things through. His problem solving abilities are also taxed by jigsaws.

Making models
Clay is a lot of fun at this age (between 3 - 5 years). Your child may now begins to use these materials to make a greater variety of different shapes, animals, a person or a car.

Your child will love being included in helping you with cooking or baking. You can make buns or cakes and let your child help you with measuring the ingredients, kneading or rolling the dough.

Cutting and making collages
At age of 5 years your child will be able to make collages cut outs and more adventurous kinds of pictures. One can use old birthday cards or New Year cards. He can use dry flowers etc. Children love making cards, He can make simple cards by cutting out balloons or animals and sticking them down.

As he gets older your child could enjoy new painting techniques. He can mix different colours of paint together to make a different range of other distinct colours.

Board games
By the age of four, most children like to play simple board or card games like snakes and tolders, ludo. Board games can help your child to recognize numbers and learn to count.

As your child grows, his taste in books will grow and change too. He will now be interested in more than just pictures, he will want to know the fairy tales which are still very popular at this stage. These are many books available that help to develop pre-reading skills.

Physical games
Physical games, indoors and outdoors are vital for developing your child's co-ordination and strength. Between ages of 3 - 5 children can use the jungle gyms slides, seesaw, etc. At about the age 3 he may learn to pedal a tricycle when he out grows his tricycle he can progress to a small bicycle with training wheels. Swimming too is a splendid outdoor activity. By 3 or 4 he may be able to swim by himself.


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