Do you still recall your favorite toy as a kid? From dinky cars to stuffy toy monkeys, everybody has their own favorite toy that wouldn’t like to leave out of their sight when they were a child.
The early generations may be more accustomed to Raggedy Ann dolls and blocks. However, kids and babies today are spoilt for options. When we talk about the toys available for children today, there’s no end to the selection you can choose from. They can be grouped in different ways, such as gender, age, or interests.
Here is a guide for you on how to choose the best toys for your child. Make sure you consider these tips when selecting toys for your smart kid.
- Pick toys that let your kid do something to them
What we mean here are toys that let them snap them together or shape them. Remember that these toys enhance your child’s depth of perception and spatial intelligence. Your child will also learn about sizes, colors, and shapes.
- Pick toys that need imagination and creativity
These are composed of open-ended toys, which leave your kid playing to their imagination. As much as possible, stay away from toys that can be played within one or two ways only. Toys, which run on your child’s imagination, are preferable, unlike those toys that run on batteries.
Playing toys that need imagination allows your kid to test his or her concept about the world and builds his or her creativity. The study proves that this builds language and widens your child’s attention span.
- Observe your kid
Doing this will allow you to understand his skills level, interests, the things he likes, and so much more. Hence, you will realize the things he enjoys the most while playing.
- Pick toys that are suitable to your kid’s gender
This is a no brainer. For sure, you do not want to choose a doll for your son and a car toy for your daughter. Always consider your kid’s gender every time you choose a toy for them.
- Pick toys that are developmentally suitable for your kid’s age
Your kid might be frustrated and stressed out with how difficult a toy is to play with if it’s too advanced for him. There’s a high possibility your kid will abandon the toy. Much worse, it may even injure him. Further, your child will find a toy boring if you choose one that is suitable for a younger age.
- Offer your child a selection of toys where he can learn a set of skills
Here’s a shortlist of benefits of specific types of toys according to the Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment:
- Strategy games such as checkers, chess, dominoes, and card games teach your kid about taking turns, following rules, planning, and cooperating with opponents or teammates.
- Toys that support physical activity such as balls, jump ropes, and bikes allow your kid to work off energy and develop coordination and strength.
- Creative art toys such as clay, glue, scissors, paper, and paint support self-expression. Further, the use of symbols is essential skills for literacy and problem-solving.
- Toys that support manipulative play such as toys, rubik’s cube, puzzles, and construction sets with interlocking pieces help your child build small muscle control as well as hand-eye coordination.
- Toys that support dramatic play such as props, puppets, toy animals, blocks, and toy vehicles to recreate real life support your child to work out their own ideas and concepts about the world.
Remember that the organization extremely discourages violent toys and those associated to media entertainment that is intended for older audiences.
- Don’t simply hand the toys to your child and shoo them off to play
It’s highly recommended to play along with your kid. Try to talk about how the new toy works and what is the fun thing about it. Keep in mind that playing with your child makes them feel loved and appreciated. That boosts their learning as well.
Moreover, observe if they get interested. If not, then the toy you have picked may be too advanced for them. There’s no need to throw the toy away. You can just keep it until your child is ready for it.
- Keep the toys in a way that your child will be motivated to play with them again
A good example of this is organizing the toys into small scenes or other creative arrangements. Do not simply dump them into a big box where your child does not even recall what’s inside.
- Ensure the toy is safe for your child
That’s especially true if you have an infant or a very young kid. Ensure that your kid’s rattle does not have any holes, which trap their fingers. Take note that kids like to put toys inside their mouths. Hence, stay away from toys that your child can choke or swallow on.
Do you have an older kid? Then you can check if the toys you have are intended to take his height are robust and don’t have any mechanical malfunctions.
- Introduce new toys one or two at a time
Remember that too many options overpower your child, particularly when they’re an infant. Your child tends to maximize each toy and be at ease with its familiarity if you gradually add new toys to their collection.
There you have it. These are the important tips you need to consider when buying a toy for your child. Keep in mind that play is the work of childhood. Smart toys help your child learn new skills and exercise relationships along with their peers and their world.
Ask yourself first if it’s ideal for your child or for yourself. It’s aright to utilize toy buying as a nostalgia trip. However, do not expect your kid to share your enthusiasm. Make sure you also play with there. Get in there and play with your child. After all, it is part of the fun of becoming a parent.
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