Playtime adventures: Traditional play helps develop the minds of Nadia Zeehan Abdul Aziz Romano’s daughters: (from left) Wan Fara Iman, Wan Zara Sophyia and Wan Aiza Rania.
We are living in the digital age, but some families still prefer traditional toys rather than high-tech ones.
What (do) you want?” asks Jared Teoh as he dashes back and forth between serving demanding “customers” and tending to the “boiling” pot on his stove.
Jared is the chef of the day, and in the three-year-old’s realm of pretend play his kitchen is churning out pizza and steak. He loves cooking up a storm in his battery-operated kitchenette, complete with whooshing sound effects, but he also enjoys coaxing Thomas the Tank Engine to choo-choo down the railway tracks and is ever-willing to whip out his miniature pirate ship to role-play a scene from Disney’s Jack And The Neverland Pirates.
While the Teoh family is very much connected to the digital age – Jared and his brother Joshua, 12, have a tablet each – the children are encouraged to play with traditional toys. The boys’ mother, Grace Ng, 38, believes physical toys are better for brain development.
“Joshua grew up at a time when smart devices hadn’t yet made it big. He loved his blocks and transportation toys, and would spend hours constructing things with paper, scissors and cellophane tape.
“Physical play encourages imagination and creativity. We’ve noticed this with Jared as well, especially when he engages in individual play. That’s when he gets a chance to figure things out on his own, without having the adults, or a computer, to tell him what to do,” shares the homemaker.