Pick Toys That Let Your Child Play
Without saying it, most parents want their child to be the smartest kid on the block. We all want our children to be far smarter than the other children around them and sometimes we will spend huge amounts of money on toys that we think will help them gain knowledge faster than others. Manufacturers have figured out that appealing to this desire on the part of parents is a great way to market children’s toys, even if the toy itself has no provable value when it comes to increasing the intelligence of a child.
There are plenty of studies that do show the relationship between certain types of toys and the development of children. This doesn’t mean that the toy has to be the latest electronic gadget that does 15 things at once. Instead, studies have shown that toys that create certain types of stimulation in very young children are beneficial to the intellectual development in children. In other words, the right toy can help make your child smarter.
Toys Should Delight Your Child
When babies are very young their toys should delight them as well as make them curious. A rattle is one of the most basic toys available but its unique sound can be a source of joy to your child. They also learn that shaking that toy will make that wonderful sound. The simple rattle has become an educational toy. As your child gets older their toys, while still very simple, become a bit more complex as far as the child is concerned. Putting a cube into the right opening on a board can be a challenge to a very young child but it also is an educational process. They learn how to hold onto the cube, they learn that it fits in only the proper opening and they learn how to place it in that special slot. Three lessons learned by your child using one very basic toy.
Often lost in the desire to turn children into brainiacs is the need that all children have to play and act like children. Showing your child flash cards at the age of 8 months won’t accomplish anything but showing them brightly colored stuffed animals will stimulate their minds. Telling them what the animal is and where it lives and what sounds it makes will intrigue them and stimulate their curiosity. It’s nice if a toy educates but parents can’t lose site of the fact that kids need to be kids. Having a fun toy in a crib is a great place to start.
Limit Your Child’s Screen Time
While most experts don’t recommend a lot of screen time for very young infants you can make good use of some videos that are created for older children. Some of these videos, such as the Baby Einstein series, are short but very educational in a fun style that your child will like. The topics are general in nature and the videos usually concentrate on one topic only. Children over the age of 3 can have 1-2 hours per day of screen time and using an educational video is a great way to expose your child to different ideas.
For the most part you can’t go wrong when it comes to buying children’s toys. Some toys are designed specifically to be played with when your child is lying on their stomachs. This is a surprisingly useful style of playing, it helps to develop your child’s stomach muscles as well as teach them how to move and function in different positions. Not all toys are created with this type of exercise in mind, but watch for toys that focus on specific actions and that use specific muscles.
When you are buying toys for a child make sure it is age appropriate. While we all like to think our child is amazingly smart, you can frustrate kids by giving them toys that are too advanced for their age group. Pay attention to the educational aspect of a toy but remember that it is a toy. Let your child have fun and let them explore. You can help them more than any educational toy if you are engaged with them, read to them and talk to them.