At Tops Day Nurseries, we are firm believers in natural resources. Not only are they environmentally friendly and less toxic for children, but they are often much more interesting to toddlers than plastic toys.
Natural resources encourage creativity and imagination in young children. Most of the time, plastic toys can only be used for their purpose which can restrict children’s thinking skills. Natural and real items can help children to develop fine motor skills and express their thoughts and ideas as they manipulate and explore them more.
By having real everyday objects in a nursery setting, children can expand their imaginative play, encouraging them to think about how the equipment can be used or what they can represent rather than using the resource for what it looks like, due to its colour or pattern. A resource such as a cardboard tube can pose unlimited opportunities for imaginative play, and children tend to gravitate towards them for that very reason.
A small toy car is just a car, but a tube can be a bridge, a tunnel, an aeroplane, a rocket, a building block, and who knows what else. While a box of plastic rattles may all look different, each one smells, and tastes and feels the same to a small child so a variety of materials, tastes and smells is far more important. Tree trunks and wooden planks can support children in creating structures and developing physical skills, through body movements such as climbing and balancing.