Becoming a parent comes with great responsibilities and fun. There are so many things that require your attention, from feeds to diaper changes.
However, one aspect that experiences the most neglect is toys. As parents, we find toys as exciting gadgets that can make your kid happier. In reality, toys are essential learning tools that have a significant impact on the child’s growth.
Giving your child the wrong toys at the wrong age can slow or disrupt their learning process. Are you worried about your child and the toys? Well, then you have arrived at the right place because we have articulated great insights into choosing the right toys for your child. Continue to read below!
Child Age & Toys
Have you ever seen that age recommendation written on some toys? Please do not ignore these minute details or take it non-seriously.
Different toys cater to the different needs of your child. An infant would not play with cars, and a toddler would not play with rattles.
Although you should conduct proper research for the child specific age, here are some toy recommendations:
- 0 to 6-months old infants will enjoy playing with simple toys that shake or are squeezable, such as rattles and small fluffy toys.
- 6 to 8-months old babies have repetitive behavior and would continue doing a single task until they have achieved excellence. Babies of this age like transferring things from one box to another and similar activities.
- 8 to 18-months old babies have a result-focused approach. They would try new things and experiment to achieve the desired result. You can give blocks, shape sorters, rings on a pole, and similar toys to babies of this age.
Children between 18 to 24-months are in the toddlers' stage and cherish playing pretend games. An amazing example of a toddler's age-appropriate toy is vehicles. Boys love playing with trucks, boats, cars, and toy junk vehicles. Meanwhile, girls enjoy dolls and kitchen sets. Some other toys include superhero action figures and toy animals.
The preschool age ranges from 2 to 4-years, in which children do a lot of pretend play and socializing. You can give 2 to 4-years old kids’ large blocks, crayons, and puzzles to enhance their imagination.
The Importance of Simplicity
Nowadays, there is such a complex variety of toys available in the market. When shopping for toys, vendors proudly explain the outstanding functionality that allows your kid to do so much. But have you ever wondered whether your kid really needs it?
Research shows that toys with too many buttons and options restrict a child from using their imagination. These toys direct your child, whereas the child should be the one directing the toy.
Hence, the best possible toys for younger children are the ones that are simple and allow your child to unlock creativity, such as blocks.
Stay Away from Electronics
Living in a modern era, it is near impossible to keep your children away from electronics. However, you can limit the usage of these electronic toys from an early age. Well, there are plenty of reasons why you should do so, including:
- Electronic toys, such as mobile gaming apps, encourages passive learning style in kids. Your child would not be able to think independently. Instead, he/she would grow to depend on others for learning.
- Gadgets and electronic toys prevent physical activity that can lead to health issues, such as weight gain. These toys can also bring delay in language and speed development in your child.
- Electronic toys with flashing lights can develop concentration issues in your child as they do not let focus on one thing at a time.
Perhaps, these reasons are sufficient to prevent excessive electronic usage for your children. As per a reputable American institute, children below 2-years should not watch television, videos, or play games. Kids above 2-years can have a limited screen time of 1 to 2-hours per day. Do not let infants and toddlers use electronics for consecutive hours.
The Fewer, the Better!
As a parent, it is tempting to give your kid all the toys in the world. After all, you want your kid to be the happiest right?
But, no matter how strong this temptation might be, please resist it because your kid certainly does not need all those toys to be happy.
Research tells that giving too many toys to a child at once can trigger concentration problems. With so many, they will have a difficult time focusing on one at a time. As a result, the child will not play with all of those toys.
Instead, parents should give toys one by one. You should not rush, and introduce new toys over intervals. These intervals can be weekly or monthly.
Give toys that last longer both in terms of durability and functionality. For example, simple blocks can cater to all stages of your child’s development, such as muscle coordination in infancy and construction principles in toddler age.
Parents can also take a few toys out of the kid’s collection and reintroduce them after a period so that they feel new. This particular technique is effective in case your child already has too many toys.