Parents struggle to give their children the best things in life, starting from an infant’s toys and games ranges. What started during olden days as a means of pastime and a chance for a beautiful friendship to blossom between strangers has now ended up as a motivational factor for finetuning children minds, gearing them up in this competitive world to outperform other kids and as a means of enriching a small one’s mind to think big. Our minds are constantly boggled with ads for toys that will make our kids happier, smarter and successful. Such toys include sophisticated technology use, reach numerous people with its advertising gimmicks and are often expensive. Above all, the idea might be a copy of the latest edition of a popular video game or a movie.
These kinds of toys rarely meet their purpose of making kids happier, smarter and successful. The idea still remains simple from the child’s perspective-give any new toy to a kid and you have got a happy kid as children aren’t usually choosy about toys. But, parents must be choosy as toys are something more than a mere plaything. Toys are for fun, but they must also be safe, age-appropriate and stimulating. Parents must regard toys as a learning tool for development and improvement. Apt to the proverb, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’, play is integral for the social, mental, physical and emotional development of children. If you are unsure about the benefits of outdoor play or ignore sending your kids out to play in the breezy weather, visit the website www.firsteatright.com for complete information. Toys can mainly be categorized into three types for nurturing a child’s brain:
Toys that invoke a child’s imagination and make him/her use the toy in ample different ways of play: The toy helps to get things started and from thereon, it depends on the child to use the toy in different ways. The child needs to set his/her minds thinking and come up with creative ideas to put the toy to best use. Lego and video games are overpowering such imagination-tickling toys and this can affect the way in which a child learns and thinks. Few toys that are bound to spur up your child’s imagination skills include:
Toys that serve as a foundation for interaction, especially with parents and caretakers: A strong parent-child relationship can greatly impact the emotional health of children and lay the foundation for more crucial things in life. A free-flowing interaction between children and adults are responsible for building connections in the brain and when a solid emotional health of the child is well-established, it pays off in the long run as such children are less likely to have sex early or get into trouble. This makes it essential that you buy toys that you can share and play with your child. Some of the above ones such as wooden blocks, pretend-play toys and other stuff offers you with ample opportunity to bond with your kid while playing. Some more solid ideas include:
It is always better to have a competitive edge over any business and toy business is no exclusion. Educational toys and CD’s business are booming as they use the parent’s fear and anxiety to mint money.
Also, parents make a great mistake of keeping all sorts of toys in front of their children’s eye. Exhibiting too many toys at a given time can confuse the child. It is necessary that parents keep only a selected few out at one point of time and keep rotating toys to reintroduce a toy every few weeks so that it feels new and fresh in the child’s mind. Some toys such as wooden blocks have the power to carry a child through different developmental stages and one should never rush to replace such wonderful stuff with something newer. An infant initially learns to grip and hold a block which promotes muscle development and coordination, as a child grows the blocks kindle a child’s imagination, creativity and building principles and finally, sharing these blocks with others teaches the concepts of tolerance and cooperation.
Kids love toys that suit their age. Given here are a list of toys that suit kids as they go through different stages of development:
0-6 months: Visuals, colors and movements attract infants at this age when they are busy discovering themselves, working on eye-hand coordination, reaching and grasping. Rattles and any toy that can help the infant grasp, swipe, kick, pull or shake can serve this purpose.
6-8 months: Older babies can hold small toys. At this stage, babies try repeating activities and actions in order to master them and love to transfer toys from hand to hand and into and out of containers. Infant toys will be used in a different way by older babies.
8-18 months: This is the time during which toddlers start enjoying pretend-play toys. It is the ideal time to introduce doctor sets, kitchen stuffs, toy cars, trucks and school buses.
2-4 years: Preschool years teach valuable socializing lessons to children and these kids continue to do more and more of pretend play. Miniature farm sets, Play-Doh, large crayons and finger paints stir a child’s creativity, Lego toys, blocks and puzzles develop fine and gross motor skills and also construction toys and ones that make noises such as drums fascinate children and prove to be the perfect choices for kids in this age group.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.