Why are toys important?
- Toys are the tools for learning.
- Well-designed toys enhance development and stimulate a young child's mind.
- A child's first and most important toy is his parent.
Determining the best toys to purchase for children at Christmas can be an overwhelming task with all of the choices available online and in stores. As parents and caregivers, we want to choose toys that our children will enjoy, but can also help promote their development. Although some toys are marketed as educational and developmental, they unfortunately may not actually be best for a child’s development.
To ensure the toys you purchase for your special little one this year are fun and promote development, follow these guidelines:
- Select toys without batteries or on and off switches. The more the toy does, the less the child has to do.
- Choose toys that encourage active play versus passive play. Active play means the child has to use his/her body, for example, move the toy and make the sounds.
- Choose toys that are simple and can be used in a variety of ways. It’s important that the child is able to use his/her imagination and creativity.
- Select toys that are interesting to your child, but expose hi, to new toys as well.
- Choose toys that allow the child to learn natrually through exploration and encourage problem solving. Avoid toys that force-feed academics.
- Select toys that spark the child's imagination. Generic toys without characters from movies are best!
Here are some examples:
Wooden blocks or modeling clay can be used to build or sculpt a variety of things, requiring the child to use his her imagination and motor planning Doll houses with families and furniture are great! yes, even for boys.
Dollhouses provide opportunities for Children to act out real life, using their own experiences and routines and familiar dialogue between the family members. Different textures and shapes of balls.
Balls encourage active motor play, which can get the child’s entire body involved in play.
**Check out our post 20 Great Developmental Toys for Toddlers for more gift ideas!