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Kids' Obsession with Cars Has Benefits (& good reasons!)

L'obsession des enfants pour les voitures a des avantages (et une explication)

Every child has their own obsessions. Dolls, stuffed animals, dinosaurs, superheroes – they may have a well-stocked and diverse toy box to keep them entertained, but there is usually a favorite that they turn to first.

Researchers call this phenomenon "extremely intense interests" (EII) and have found that they begin to emerge around 18 months of age and appear in about a third of preschoolers.

For many kids, maybe even yours, this obsession is about cars. And while the gender divide persists in the toy world, little boys aren't the only ones drawn to anything with wheels or a motor.

But have you ever wondered what there is so much fascination with cars, trucks, trains and other floating or flying vehicles?

Why are toddlers obsessed with cars?

Vroom! Vroom! Beep! Beep! Oh, oh! There is no denying that children love toy vehicles.

For many, their first look at a fire truck or an older sibling's mini-car collection can spark an interest that will last a lifetime.

Whether they are attracted by the excitement of racing, the mechanics of these toys, the possibility of collecting them or any other aspect, the love of toy vehicles often seems to be an integral part of a child's life.

Reason #1: They are familiar

One of the most obvious reasons children are drawn to toy vehicles is simple: they represent a miniature version of something familiar.

From a young age, children see cars, trucks and other vehicles on the road, on television and in movies, and often at home. This early exposure can foster a sense of attachment in little ones who are still discovering how the world works, making toy vehicles objects of affection.

The benefit - The connection children have with their toy vehicles helps them explore the world, from the comfort of their playroom. By revving these vehicles through imaginary cities and landscapes, kids can learn about how a fire truck or construction site machine works, but they also begin to grasp fundamental concepts like consciousness. spatial and cause and effect relationships!

Reason #2: They are exciting

It's no surprise that many children love toys with flashing lights, sound effects and movement. The excitement of an exciting sensory experience is exhilarating for children, and toy vehicles provide just that. Whether it's a roaring race car or a roaring giant truck, playing with these fast toy vehicles stimulates their senses and feeds their appetite for excitement!

The benefit - By racing, stunting and sometimes even crashing, toy vehicles generate a multitude of sensory stimuli. This contribution - on a visual, sound and tactile level - helps to stimulate the development of the senses from a very young age.

By interacting with these toys, toddlers improve their auditory and visual processing skills as well as their tactile sensitivity, which are essential for language and fine motor development.

Reason #3: They are fascinating!

With their elaborate design and moving parts, the vehicles naturally attract children's curiosity. In fact, it's almost inevitable to wonder how these vehicles and other means of transportation work, in toy or real versions. Toy cars and trucks therefore captivate young minds and bring fictional play scenarios to life!

The benefit – Playing with toy vehicles can fuel the desire to explore and understand their mechanics. From fundamentals like cause and effect to more complex STEM/STEM concepts, including engineering basics, problem solving, and spatial reasoning, kids can learn surprisingly a lot by playing with their vehicle collections !

Wooden trucks to assemble Janod

Playing with cars: rewarding in many ways

At first glance, the vehicle game may seem quite one-dimensional. But if you look more closely, you will see a world just as rich and subtle as that of the doll's house.

Language, science, cooperation. Playing with vehicles has it all.

Heuristic play, which can also be called discovery play, is essential for young children to learn how our world works. It is the process of trial and error by which they attempt to understand the laws of physics. The vehicles allow them to test their hypotheses on many of these concepts.

Observing a 2 or 3 year old child with a toy car is a way of studying gravity and trajectory, friction and acceleration. See how they build ramps to roll down and launch up, marvel at the myriad ways they find to crash a car or derail a train.

Urban train set

We cannot ignore the language advantages of vehicle play either. We usually associate role-playing and miniature world play (action figures, dollhouses, etc.) with language development , but even a simple car offers many ways to improve thinking and speaking. Over, under, through, behind, between. These prepositions are regularly used. And what about ideas like stopping and starting, fast and slow, up and down, left and right?

And then, there are also the stories that children invent and tell while playing!

Take another look at the vehicle play. It’s just as educational as some seemingly more interesting activities – and certainly just as fun!

Brico'Kids trucks from Janod

To conclude

Cars, trucks, trains and planes can be wonderful tools for child development. Whether it's stimulating the imagination, enhancing sensory skills or awakening a love of learning, toy vehicles offer a multitude of benefits for growing minds. These benefits are part of the reason why kids love these toys!

Of course, even if you can appreciate the contribution of their collection to their development, for them, the most important thing is that these toys are an inexhaustible source of precious pleasure!

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