Expert Advice

Why farms are so prevalent in younger children's play?

Why farms are so prevalent in younger children's play?

Playing with toy farms is great for children’s development. As well as encouraging imaginative role play, it also enhances vocabulary, and can open up discussion about farms, food, animals, machines, work etc. A farm set can help children understand more about the world they live in, where food comes from and how the food chain works and is justifiably a staple of many preschool toy boxes.

The social skills which develop during children's play with farm sets and similar toys are important tools for a child starting school. Having well-developed social skills can make a real difference to how well a child settles into school and how able he or she is to make friends and engage in classroom activities.

Non-prescriptive toys such as farm toys, enable children to play with the toys at their own level and in their own way and so are great for siblings of different ages.

Role play with machines tends to appeal more to boys, but there are other aspects of farm life that appeal to girls so role playing with farms promotes engagement and cooperation between the sexes. Boys tend to develop social skills more slowly than girls, but toys which encourage boys to engage with each other, communicate and cooperate can really enhance their social skills. Playing with older children or those who are more socially advanced will help even more.

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