Which of the above categories do you find most of the toys in your house or on your holiday shopping list? Are they electronic ones that flash, beep and tell your child what button to push? Are they ones that foster creativity, problem solving and self expression?
As the grown ups in this world, we have the great joy and great responsibility to help guide our younger adventurers on a path of learning that can be programmed or packed with possibilities.
See Janet's Top 5 Toy Selection Suggestions to help you this busy shopping season!
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Janet's Top 5 Toy Selection Suggestions:
1. Durability - A toy should last and last and last. Look for items that can be passed down to younger siblings or to friends. When you buy an inexpensive toy that breaks in a few days, you teach your child that things are disposable and easily replaceable. When you invest in a toy that will last and last, you teach them to value quality. Not to mention the money it saves you in the long run.
2. Open Ended - A toy that can grow with your child is worth a ton! Finding a simple open ended toy that can be used in one way at 2 years old and another at 3 years old and yet another way at 4 years old fosters creativity. It also saves you money and eliminates clutter in your house. Why buy 5 toys that do 1 thing each when you can buy 1 toy that does 5 things?
3. Obvious Completion - Sometimes children need just the opposite of open ended toys. They need ones that have an obvious end to them. Click the last piece into place of a puzzle. Complete the last step of a craft project. Play a board game to the end. Starting, doing and finishing something builds confidence and gives a sense of pride worthy of a high five or a pat on the back! Perseverence is a great gift to give a child.
4. Requires Interaction - A toy that requires a child to move, ponder, have a conversation with another human being scores extra points! Great toys are ones that promote exercise and/or conversations with others. Our children look to us as role models on how to connect with others. Toys can open doors to lots of healthy relationship opportunities.
5. Be Fun! They are toys after all!