Little kids love playing with toy automobiles like toy ambulances and trucks. These toys capture the attention of children and seem to grow with them. They spend hours pushing their toy ambulances around pretending to be emergency responders and while it’s fun for them, we really do not pay much attention to these types of plays as parents.
According to many child experts, there’s more to these toys than just pushing these toys around. Children learn through play and the more they play toys they are interested in, the more they learn and develop foundational skills they need in the not-so-distant future. Toys like toy ambulances and trucks promote physical and cognitive development. When playing these toys children develop a wide range of fundamental skills and have a better understanding of STEM concepts.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and is a term used to refer to the curriculum or education approach that focuses on all four disciplines as one cohesive learning model instead of treating them separately. Many countries around the world have adapted and integrated this curriculum to their education systems with the goal of being at the forefront of innovation.
STEM learning is all about letting your mind work while doing things with your hand. There’s absolutely no need to buy expensive toys with a STEM sticker on them. Because the toys that are already in your child’s toy closet is more than enough to expose him to STEM learning.
For instance, when your child plays with his favourite toy ambulance, he learns about acceleration, velocity, distance, gravity and much more. A toy ambulance offers hands-on learning opportunities in which your child is learning and experiencing scientific principles.
Fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination are two of the most important sets of skills children need to learn and develop at a young age. These skills allow children to perform daily tasks with their hands like cutting paper with a pair of scissors, tying shoelaces, using utensils for eating, writing on a piece of paper and many more. Grasping and moving toy ambulances help your child develop these skills.
Toys with wheels also encourage movement and give children reasons to become more mobile. When your child drives his toy ambulance around the house, he’s essentially developing his balance and gross motor skills. Gross motor skills are abilities like standing, walking, jumping and any activities that require the use of a large group of muscles.
Children learn through playing and play is important for little children to build their understanding of how the world around them works. One of the most common types of play that children love is role-playing. Through role-playing, children see things in different perspectives and allow them to experience a wide range of emotions. It also offers a risk-free environment for children to explore new ideas.
Playing with toy ambulances or any toys with wheels allow children to understand cause and effect and some basic science. For instance, they will learn about how quickly or slowly their toy cars roll depending on how much force they apply in pushing them.
Next Up: A Brief History of the Ambulance