Often what we view as play produces opportunity to learn life skills. We all know that team sports teach cooperation, leadership, and a host of other social skills. What appears to be simply toys for younger children, actually, teach more skills than you might think. The designers of Melissa and Doug toys include numerous learning experiences in a single toy. We as parents and grandparents have become teachers while schools remain closed for the pandemic.
By looking at one of my favorite toys available at Morgan Fitzgerald’s, a Melissa & Doug Brew & Serve Coffee Set, you can see multiple ways to teach, while children play. First, ask what each item is and how it is used. Have them line them up from light to dark. Ask them to describe the different flavors and what they are like. Is Vanilla sweet smelling? Go into the kitchen and have them search for different items. How does mocha taste? Is it a little like coffee, or more like chocolate?
Involve measurement skills as they determine what is small, medium, or large. Do a comparison of the toys to kitchen items similar in size. What is equal to a cup, or half cup? How many would it take to fill an item?
More advanced skills could be developed as they play to set up a coffee shop. What would the name of the shop be? What kind of music should they play? Let them decide what kind of chairs and how many they would have. They could design a menu and the signs for the store. Learning can be so enjoyable when it is fun.
Nancy Pride owns Morgan Fitzgerald’s and Merle Norman located at 3800 South Texas Avenue, one mile north of University Drive. 979 268 0608, www.fitzyou.com