Are children’s career choices influenced by toys?

Toys and Children's Career Choices

Did you know that the toys that your children play with now can have an impact on their future career choices?

Children learn the skills required in later life from their surroundings, adult influences and the toys that they are presented with. So, as a parent, it is imperative that you observe your children’s learning and behaviour during play and support their preferences and passions. You could have future a barrister, doctor, teacher or premiership footballer on your hands.

Toys and Child Education

Playing is what kids do and it is essential to their childhood development. Different toys encourage children to play in many different ways, but do any of the different toy groupings give us an insight into what our children’s careers choices might be in the future?

Pretend Play

When your child is immersed in pretend play you never quite know what you are going to experience with them next. They could become the captain of a ship, a teacher at story time or a racing driver around the playground. Your lounge could be transformed into the local supermarket, a hospital ward or the inside of courtroom dealing with its next big litigation case. A child’s imagination is a marvelous thing.

It is during this type of play that children discover and learn about their likes and dislikes as well as their abilities and interests. So if you child is often passing sentence you could be seeing them working within in the law in a courtroom or for a litigation funding company. If your child finds you unwell often and wraps you in blankets or bandages you could have a future nurse or doctor in your midst.

Dressing up can provide signs of your child’s preference towards a certain occupation and the traits that their future job is likely to possess.

Creative Toys

Arts and crafts can trigger a child’s imagination and encourage them to be creative with the tools that they are presented with. Being creative teaches cognitive skills such as mathematics and scientific thinking, and also involves use of the imagination. Problem-solving, communication, and dexterity skills are also engaged in many forms of creative play. All good building blocks for the future.

Painting and arts and crafts

Children that show an interest or passion for messy play and making and moulding things clearly have an eye for craftsmanship. This flare could lead to careers in carpentry, design, video production or hairdressing for example. Creative types are happy when they are making something new with their skills.

Constructions and Problem Solving Toys

Children that love to play with building blocks and toys like Meccano are more likely to be drawn to design jobs such a architects and designers. Adults in Maths-related jobs like accountancy and banking preferred to play with and solve puzzles as children.

childrens puzzle

Dolls and Teddy Bears

A preference for playing with stuffed animals and dolls can be an indication of a child’s future career choice. Role play with these toys, as well as an attachment to a favourite teddy or doll, develops a child’s emotional skills. Role playing tea parties and picnics does not mean that they will necessarily become waitresses but rather that they will show a preference for a career taking care of others.

Childrens toys - dolls

With guidance given to their nurturing background, these children can become doctors, veterinarians or social workers, all careers that help people and animals in need. If these children do not end up in these types of career roles, their lives will certainly be more fulfilled working to people or society outside of the workplace. If nothing else these skills are great for them becoming future parents.

In Summary

What is important is to remain open minded about your children’s career choices and give children the opportunity to play with a broad variety of toys to experience all different kinds of play. Children usually have favourite toys that fall into more than one of these categories so what they are playing with can only be a slight indication of what they might become. Education, nurturing and parental guidance of course also plays a bit part. For example, if you have a child that loves to dress up as a ballerina, play football, and build with blocks they could turn out to be an engineer, a dancer or perhaps a PE teacher. This is where patience comes in because at the end of the day we just have to wait and see.

 

Do you think that your current job is a reflection of the toys that you played with as a child? It would be very interesting to know, tell us in the comments.

About the Author

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Jackie Wakefield – Learned Blogger
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