The best way to stimulate a child's imagination and support learning, childhood development experts suggest, is by letting them play with traditional toys and games.
Dr Jon Jureidini, a child psychiatrist at the University of Adelaide, shared his concern about the shift towards electronic toys and computer games, which stop a child from being creative.
Advertisement"The role of the child in play becomes more reactive," the Courier Mail quoted him as saying.
"Much more of the content is going to be generated by the computer than would be the case if a child was playing with a doll's house . . .
"The danger is that children aren't having as much stimulation to their imagination and creativity.
"Playing through some distressing event helps children to come to terms with it and feel less bullied by their scary memories.
"There's the working-through aspect and also the communication aspect," Dr Jureidini, who uses play in therapy, said.
His thoughts on the subject were echoed by Deakin University Associate Professor Karen Stagnitti, who said imaginative play has also been shown to expand children's vocabulary, comprehension and social skills.
Teacher Alison Woodcock said some children had to be taught how to play.
"The children are very confident on the computers these days," she said.
"We need to help them develop skills in creative play," she added.
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