Child Development through Busy Books
As parents, one of the main reasons for purchasing toys for our children is to promote child development and learning. There are so many toys out there in the market that can be beneficial to a young child's learning and development. More often than not, we end up purchasing too many toys, some may not really be useful or beneficial, some may not be used, our house may end up to cluttered, or there may just simply be too many options for our child, making it difficult for them to focus and learn. To help you make a decision, we wanted to share with you how busy books can help in the holistic development of your child, and more importantly, what you can look out for in selecting a good busy book.
Child Development through Busy Books
While there are many schools of thought regarding the primary areas of child development, they mainly revolve around these areas
- Physical Development (Health, Safety, Gross and Fine Motor Skills)
- Personal, Social, and Emotional Development (Playing with Other Children, Emotional Regulation)
- Cognitive and Intellectual Development (Numeracy, Discovery of the World, Creative Expression, Problem Solving)
- Communicative Development (Communication, Language, and Literacy)
A thoughtfully designed busy book can holistically include activities to encourage the development in these areas.
Busy Books and Physical Development
One of the most obvious benefits of a busy book, is how it keeps little fingers busy through a variety of activities which all starts with the palmer grasp which slowly evolves into pincer grasp, and all the other more advanced grasp that will help a child learn to write, draw, tie their shoelaces etc. Busy books are filled with activities that encourage that - through zippers, velcros, simple act of holding the book and parts, putting on a finger puppet, opening the book, unbuttoning etc. All these activities go towards fine motor skills development and developing hand-eye coordination.
While there aren't any specific activities for gross motor skills development, children often take out parts of the book around the house or wherever they are, encouraging crawling, walking, standing, etc. A simple activity that most children do is take out the socks from our busy book to throw into the real life washing machine so do watch out for parts that end up in the washer!
Well designed busy books also encourage healthy habits and safety awareness. Washing dirty socks, hanging the socks, brushing teeth, crossing the road safely, etc. There are many ways parents can talk about real life situations to encourage good habits with their children through the busy books. They are great conversation starters! One of our books has a school bus, complete with the school, road, and playground - that's plenty to learn and talk about!
Children who enjoy playing with busy books will also likely enjoy spending time with other children, which is important for developing strong relationships later on in life.
Children can use busy books to solve problems, as they have to figure out how things work and what they are supposed to do with them in order to achieve their goal (e.g., open the book, placing the figurines in the school bus etc.).
- Choose an age appropriate book. While books come with age recommendations, we recognize that all children develop at a different pace. For an engaging experience, choose a book that has activities your child is familiar with (to build confidence), emerging skills, and new skills. We want a book that strengthens concepts and teaches new ones.
- A good busy book is designed to not only teach educational concepts but encourage creativity. Choose a book with lots of fun elements, scenarios, and characters to give your child ample opportunity to create stories. Scenarios that mimic real life or characters your children love would be great.
- The quality of the book, and its stitching can make a difference to how long your book lasts. Some books are thin, with glued on parts that often come apart, making it frustrating for play. Well made books have sewn on parts that last a long time, encouraging your child to play more and work their hands.
In conclusion, busy books are a great way to engage kids in learning and development. They can be used to teach a variety of concepts, including numbers, letters and shapes. A well designed book can also encourage creativity, problem solving skills, and critical thinking.