Playtime is the best thing ever for your child. As a parent, you should know how important this is to the development of his/her physical and mental health. Playing allows your child to discover his/her surroundings, learn more about the world, and acquire several skills along the way. This is why, it is imperative to give your child educational toys that will foster learning and stimulation of the brain.
Here are ways on how to choose the right toys for your little one.
Choose toys with real educational value
When you enter a store, you’ll be bombarded by a vast array of toys, all claiming to be educational. If you’re a wise parent, you’d know that not all these items are telling the truth. Be able to distinguish toys with real educational value from those that don’t, by determining the skills honed by a particular toy.
For example, a set of building blocks would harness a child’s fine motor skills, spatial awareness, visual perception, problem solving skills, and logical thinking. An electronic robot, meanwhile, would just make a passive observer out of your child, as it would do everything by itself without any help from your little one.
There’s also much debate over the educational value of DVDs for children and babies. According to experts, children below two years old should not be exposed to television or videos. Children older than that should be limited to two hours or less of screen time each day. It’s still best to give your child toys that are interactive and require the use of the hands, instead of those that they would just watch all day long.
Buy age-appropriate toys
This isn’t only for educational purposes but also for safety. Buying a toy designed for a three-year-old to your infant child may put him/her at risk. Also, a toy designed for older children may not benefit younger ones. Toys meant for little kids may not spark the interest or curiosity of older children. Moreover, don’t only consider the age but also the level of maturity and development of your child. If your two-year-old child has the skill of a four-year-old, you may give him/her advanced puzzle toys as long as safety precautions are taken.
Consider safety standards
Speaking of safety precautions, it is crucial to follow safety tips when buying toys for your child. Make sure that you buy a toy made from durable, non-toxic materials. Stay away from toys that are suspected to contain lead. Choose toys that don’t have strings or ropes that can pose as strangulation hazard. Check for sharp and pointed edges that can cause cuts or scrapes, small holes that can pinch fingers, and detachable objects that can be swallowed and cause your child to choke.
With safe educational toys, your child can maximize the time for playing and use it to learn and acquire skills he/she needs to fully develop and thrive.