As a parent, you want to give your child every opportunity to succeed. You provide them with a loving home, nutritious food, and a good education. But did you know that the toys your child plays with also significantly impact their development? Unfortunately, not all toys are created equal. Many toys on the market today are detrimental to kids’ development. When selecting toys for your children, choosing those that are developmentally appropriate is crucial. This means selecting toys suited to your child’s age, abilities, and interests. So, how can you ensure you pick the right toys for your child? Here are eight guidelines to help you choose developmentally appropriate toys for your kids:
Look for open-ended toys
These kinds of toys can be used in many different ways and still provide hours of fun. For example, a simple block set can be used to build houses, towers, or even cars. The more ways a toy can be played with, the longer it will keep your child’s attention. And that means fewer trips to the toy store for you!
Look for toys that encourage active play
Not only is active play good for your child’s physical health—it’s also great for their cognitive development. Children actively engaged in play use all their senses to explore the world around them. So, look for toys that get your kids up and moving, like balls, tricycles, or jump ropes.
Look for toys that encourage imagination
Toys that promote pretend play are some of the best kinds of toys for young kids. They help children develop language skills and learn about the world around them. Imagination is a crucial part of childhood development. So, be sure to leverage the kind of toys that will further promote the use of imagination and creativity!
Look for toys that teach basic concepts
These kinds of toys can help your child learn basic concepts like shapes, colors, and numbers. Many parents worry their child isn’t learning anything when playing with their toys. But if you choose the right kind of toy, they can learn various concepts that will prepare them for school and beyond!
Look for durable toys
Kids are hard on their belongings, so it’s important to choose toys built to last. Durable toys will not only save you money in the long run—they’ll also stand up to rigorous play without falling apart easily.
Look by age range
Most toys these days come with an age range listed on the packaging. This age range is there for a reason! Choosing a toy appropriate for your child’s age and stage of development is essential. If a toy is too difficult, your child will become frustrated and lose interest quickly. If a toy is too easy, they’ll get bored just as quickly.
Look at reviews online before you buy anything
A quick Google search can reveal a lot about a particular toy—including whether or not it’s worth buying! Checking online reviews before you make a purchase can save you time and money in the long run.
Avoid electronic toys unless they serve a specific purpose
While electronic toys can be fun and engaging, they should not be overused as they can lead to cognitive delays in young children. If you do choose to give your child an electronic toy, make sure it serves a specific purpose, such as educational games or learning tools. iPads and tablets are not recommended for children under 3 years old.
With so many choices on the market, it can be tough to find developmentally appropriate toys that will both educate and entertain your kids. But if you keep these eight guidelines in mind, you’ll surely find something that your kids will love while promoting healthy development.
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