Stuck trying to find the right toy or gift for your little guy or gal? Here are some tips to help give some inspiration.
Sadly, adults often seem to forget what toys are for. Play is the “work” of childhood. While they play, children are learning new skills, defining themselves as individuals, and practising relationships with others and with the physical world. While this is also fun, they are learning and growing, too. Good toys are toys that help kids do those things.
The toys we choose to buy tell us as much about us as we do about our kids whom we are buying for. Our values — the things you think are important for your kids to learn about in terms of skills, identity, and relationships — are conveyed in your gift, consciously or not.
There are a lot of new and colourful toys of the choices and many have good play-value. But there are some basic toys that should encourage our children’s development. Here’s a list of most important toys for your kids...
Plain wooden blocks in enough sizes to encourage hours of construction, alone and with others
Or some other manipulative toy that encourages development of fine motor skills and creativity
Play kitchen toys
Since kids love to imitate their parents and other adults around them and their play helps them get comfortable with doing lots of different things
Rubber or plastic animals and vehicles
Scaled to work with the blocks as your kids will spend hours making farms, zoos, and dramatic scenes.
Art and craft
From play dough and cookie cutters, chunky crayons and paper for little kids
Since every kid deserves to be messy once in a while, and you might also include an inexpensive plastic tablecloth to put on the floor when it’s finger painting time
Or something for making rhythms and music
Anything that encourages physical exercise
Like jump ropes, balls, basic sports equipment, skates, age-appropriate riding toys. Too many of our kids lack physical confidence and competence
An age-appropriate board game or two to encourage cooperative play and problem-solving.
In short, all these toys foster learning as well as fun. Get in there and play with your kids. It’s part of the fun of being a parent!