Children of all ages love to play with toys. Playthings, when selected carefully, help develop critical learning skills. The fact is, toys are not only games and fun but also educational and ensure healthy development. As your child read book plays with teddy bears, and crayons, he develops pre-academic skills.
What does your child learn by playing with toys?
- Creativity: Crayons, paper, play dough, finger paints, etc. Boost fine motor skills and artistic development essential for learning.
- Physical dexterity: Wading pools, swings, ride-on toys, child-sized vehicles, doll carriages, etc., can help develop balance, confidence, and strength.
- Social skills: Stuffed animals and dolls represent people. Your child may play out troubling situations or emotions, thus developing social skills.
- Language development: Your child should engage in reading picture books. It helps develop communication skills.
- Problem-solving: Your child can engage in nature-based activities like making mudpies to become an investigator and experimenter.
- Motor skills: Playing with blocks encourages your child to manipulate and categorize things. It also develops his fine motor skills.
What is the best toy to buy for your child?
A good toy can be termed one that is fun-filled and appropriate for his age, personality, and development needs. Besides this, it also should have other qualities like:
- Well-structured and sturdy: Such toys can be exciting and encourage kids to experiment and create new things.
- Inspires active play: Children should use toys to engage in development, dissect, pull, and push. Avoid mechanical toys as it does not allow your child to do anything.
- Should not be frustrating but challenging: Toys should encourage small children to experiment. It should challenge their brain and not feel frustrating.
- Serves multiple uses: Present toys that can be played in diverse ways to encourage creativity and imagination.
Toy safety tips
Billions of toys are sold all over the world every year. It should be entertaining and dangerous. But some can be hazardous. Hence, as a parent, you must make responsible selections while purchasing toys for kids. You should know what you are buying and ensure it is safe for your loved one.
Guidelines to follow
To ensure your child is safe, follow some guidelines when buying toys.
- Choose age-appropriate toys.
- Go through the warnings and instructions mentioned in the package.
- Avoid toys with rigid or sharp edges and points.
- Toys that make noise should be soft and not frightening.
- Separate younger and older children’s toys present in the household.
- Keep small toys and their parts away from toddlers and small children to avoid choking hazards.
- Buy art materials like paint sets and crayons marked with ‘ASTM D-4236’ as it is safe.
- Avoid games with small balls or marbles when gifting your child under age three.
- Inspect all toys thoroughly for safe construction.
- For toys with wheels, like tricycles, scooters, skateboards, or bicycles, buy a helmet to ensure safe riding.
- In mechanical toys, ensure all batteries are firm and not easily accessible for your child.
- Demonstrate safe usage of toys.
Take proper care of toys!
Remember, all toys have some lifespan. Poor overall care might only damage them earlier than expected. It is necessary to derive the max from every item, allowing your child to enjoy playing with it. Hence, encourage proper toy care and teach your kids to be safe while playing.
Store toys away from moisture and heat
Battery-operated toys should always be kept at room temperature. If it is exposed to moisture or heat, its electrical component might stop functioning. The metal parts could develop corrosion and rot if exposed to moisture.
It is your beloved child who will be playing with the toys. With time, dust and germs stick to them and can cause allergies and even diseases. Hence, it is important to clean each toy regularly. Use an antiseptic wipe to clean the toy before playtime to ensure your child does not get exposed to harmful agents.
Toys like any other item can get broken or damaged. Determine if it can be fixed. Otherwise, simply throw it away as broken pieces might cause tears, scratches, or choking hazards. Such pieces can put your child at risk.
How many toys to buy for your child?
Toys do influence the quality of your child’s play including other psycho-social factors. The number of toys to buy will depend on your budget and your child’s age. You may consider buying new toys as your child grows. Remember, what a small child plays will not be liked by a grown-up baby. Hence, your purchase should be age-appropriate. Buy only quality toys from a reputed company.