Now that we’ve covered the different types of play, join us in exploring the various soft skills enhanced via Giochi Preziosi toys. Can you spot the soft skills featured in the following stories?
It is a simmering battlefield. Jack’s Gormitis are lined up staring at Nina’s. Who is going to make the first move? Out of the blue, Nina takes the initiative. She grabs her Gormiti and before Jack realizes it, his Gormiti is off the table. “YES!” Nina screams. “I told you, Jack, you need to structure your moves better if you want to win! Maybe next time!”. Jimmy, who was watching the two friends playing, agreed: “I am curious to see your next Gormiti battle. It’s gonna be awesome!”.
The girl friends are discussing their new Unique Eyes dolls with excitement over tea. At some point, Helen comments: “Girls, do you know what I am thinking? We are responsible for our dolls. We have to make the right decisions in regards to their marriage. John John might not be suitable for everyone! After all, some dolls might noteven want to get married! Maybe my Unique Eyes Doll is a perfect match with this Harry Potter figure”. The other girls agree, while taking a sip of tea.
What do these stories have in common? They both feature onlooker play, another type of play suggested by sociologist Parten, during which the kids sit back and watch others play, without, however, joining in. What is interesting here is that although onlooker play is a normal part of play development, many parents think that kids who are into that type of play might be lonely or scared to engage with their peers. But this is not always the case. Onlooker play can enhance soft skills such as curiosity, as children focus their attention on how their friends choose to play, active listening since the viewers hear the players’ dialogues without them intervening, and self-management, as they are challenged to manage their own desires and emotions.
While some kids preferred to be onlookers in the previous scenarios, others, such as Jack and Nina for instance, decided to take on a more active role. This is a sign of cooperative play, where children learn to express their emotions and solve any problem that comes their way. More specifically, with cooperative play, children interact with each other and begin to become more involved in what others around them are doing. During this type of play, children have similar goals, such as creating a Gormiti battlefield.
So, there you have it. Gormitis, Unique Eyes dolls, and… even Harry Potter can be put together. Just remember: never — ever — doubt your kids’ creativity!