Is your child obsessed with a particular toy or topic? Turns out you should be encouraging it 3 years ago

Is your child obsessed with a particular toy or topic? Turns out you should be encouraging it

Cars, dinosaurs, dolls, clothes, balls, even a certain animal or celebrity - small kids can seemingly develop a fascination around anything.

Most will have a favourite toy or object or game, but does you little one obsess over something to the point that it's all he or she can talk about?

If so, parents should know that this is totally normal and something we should actually be encouraging.

Having an intense interest in something (or what's known as a conceptual interest) in early childhood has been linked with benefits in cognitive development.

These benefits can include "increased knowledge and persistence, heightened attention, and deeper levels of processing," researchers from the University of Wisconsin and Indiana University found.

A simple way of explaining this is that when a child develops a strong interest or even obsession with certain objects or topics, they'll want to learn everything about it.

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This may mean they spend hours playing with their cars or reading about their favourite animal.

When they know lots about a particular thing they'll love sharing their knowledge, helping with their language skills and boosting their self confidence - which can encourage them to keep learning.

It's a pattern that can set them up for a lifelong love of learning.

Having an intense obsession in childhood is fairly common. It's estimated that a third of children develop such an interest in something between the ages of two and six but only 20 per cent of these carry this interest into adulthood.

While you might be bored to tears by talk of dinosaurs, encouraging their interest could seriously benefit them in the long-term.