Choosing holiday gifts for kids can be a difficult task. Older kids usually know exactly what they want, but it’s important to choose toys that are age appropriate. There are many popular toys on the market each year, but which toys will your child enjoy and will help him or her develop. Following are some ideas to keep in mind when shopping for holiday gifts this year.
Beware of toys that are labeled educational
Many toys are advertised as educational. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Despite being labeled and touted as educational, some of the toys on the market are not yet parents will spend a lot of money hoping that it is the right toy for their baby or child to learn from. Often the claim is that a toy will boost brain development, but that is not always the case. Beware of toys that carry big promises. Often it I the simpler toys that have been around for decades that will actually increase your child’s development.
Keep it simple
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on toys to help your child develop and have fun. Keeping it simple, the toys that we have all played with over the decades are more likely to be the best when considering the development of a child. Blocks, dolls, construction toys, trucks and trains are all examples of classic toys that help a child use his or her imagination and stimulate brain development in many different ways. With children, especially young children, it is also a good idea to rotate toys every few weeks. Babies and kids can easily become overwhelmed by a lot of toys especially when the toys do pretty much the same things. Rotating toys will help kids keep interested in the toys they have and learn to use them in different ways.
Limit electronics and video games
It’s impossible to keep electronics and video games out of the hands of our kids, especially as they get older. However, it is important to monitor the use of these types of toys and games and to limit the time spent with them. Children over the age of two should not be using these toys for more than an hour or two a day.These devices tend to limit creativity, independent thinking and attention span. Kids who spend all of their time playing with flashy electronics and video games are at risk of developing language difficulties and other developmental delays. They also are at a higher risk for hearing loss and weight gain unlike their peers who play with more traditional toys. For this reason we encourage you to push your kids to play outdoor sports and activities more offen. Take a look at Amazon Sports Gifts for Kids
How to choose age appropriate toys
When choosing toys for your child, it is important to keep in mind the age. While it is tempting to buy the latest gift on the market, it is important for every child’s development to play with toys that will help them at each age. Of course, this gets more difficult as a child ages. However, there are some general guidelines.
• 0-6 months – Toys with movement and sound that promote grasping, swiping and shaking such as
mobiles and rattles
• 6-8 months – Toys that are small and those that demonstrate cause/effect including containers
• 8-18 months -Toys that show results and babies can learn about goals with such as blocks, push/
pull toys and shape sorters
• 18-12 months -Pretend toys that inspire creativity like dolls, dress up, kitchens, cars, trucks and
• 2-4 years – Toys that inspire pretend play and socialization with other kids including mini-
houses, play-doh, finger paints, crayons, large Legos and other blocks
Finding the perfect toy for your baby, toddler or child can be a tough task. Parents want to make their child happy but also want to help with the developmental process. Despite the fads, kids are better off with the toys that we all played with growing up. Simple is better.