How to choose toys for your child
The shelves of modern stores are full of bright, fluffy, shiny, talking and musical educational toys. It is not surprising that parents often fall victim to marketing tricks and buy more than they should in children’s stores. How do I choose educational toys? Do I need to pursue quantity or to give preference to quality? Is it worth playing with a child at all, or will toys “develop” it?
How to choose toys for your child
When choosing toys, you should pay attention to their quality, functionality and compliance with the tasks of child development.
1. the quality of the toy ensures its safety, durability, and ease of use.
How do I evaluate the quality of a toy when buying it?
Pay attention to the manufacturer – it is good if it is a well-known, proven brand.
A plus is the presence of reviews on the web, but here you need to always remember that reviews are often bought nowadays, so read them in different sources and try to make your own objective representation.
If you choose a toy in a store, you need to carefully examine it, smell it, and examine the packaging (note its quality, manufacturer information, and product quality hotline).
2. the functionality of the toy allows you to use it in a variety of games.
Today, store shelves are filled with interactive educational and developmental toys that glow, sound, move, and sing the English alphabet. Promising slogans on the packaging predict that with this toy, the child will be a real Prodigy, and the demand for such toys is growing.
It is sad that the joy of buying lasts for a few days, or even less. The child quickly gets fed up with interactive toys and prefers the old keyboard or mother’s pots.
A good toy allows its use in a variety of games. So, rings from an ordinary pyramid easily turn into boats, bumps in the swamp, bagels, plates, steering wheel and wheels.
3. the Toy must correspond to the stage of development of the child, the peculiarities of his thinking and perception.
The brain of a young child (up to 3 years old) is not adapted for learning to read (as much as some representatives of the toy industry would like to convince parents of the opposite), so cubes with letters or cards with words are not necessary for a two-year-old. But a designer with large details or animal figures are the toys that will really benefit a child of this age.
How many toys does a child need
Educational toys perform their function as long as there is some element of novelty, mystery. If a child has studied a toy inside out, it no longer attracts him, its developing potential is exhausted.
Therefore, the task of parents is to maintain this novelty effect. Fortunately, it is achieved not only by buying new toys. It helps here
toy rotation technique, when some of the toys are removed for a while, then returned after two to three weeks. Then the child plays with them, almost as with new ones.
including old toys in new games, showing the child new features of the game, new aspects of a familiar toy.
Educational games at home
I am a supporter of an integrated approach to child development, including the organization of educational games at home. Some mothers easily come up with games on the go and can easily attract the child with a new game or developmental activities. Others need training or even a lesson plan.
The plan of daily classes is good because it helps not to miss anything important and be sure of the harmonious development of the baby. But games “on a hunch” are also good, especially if parents correctly approached the issue of choosing toys and in General to the design of the developing environment.
Example: If there is a sports complex at home that is not used as a clothes hanger, if adults start every day with a charge, and actively walk with the child every day, then the child develops well physically. In this case, there is no point in specifically planning any daily activities for the child’s physical development.
If the conditions and lifestyle of the family are such that the child leads a rather “motionless” lifestyle: walks only on the Playground at home or spends most of the walk in a stroller, at home he has nowhere to run and frolic, parents do not engage in physical exercise-it is important to focus on physical development:
* remember, find or invent outdoor games for walking,
* buy or make your own toys and sports equipment that can be used for home activities,
* make a habit of light exercise, dancing.
This also applies to other areas of child development: speech, fine motor skills, emotional and personal development.
Do I need to play with my child?
The ability to occupy themselves independently is formed as well as other skills and abilities of the child, as he grows older, self-awareness increases, and games become more complex. And the most important role here is played by the adult.
There are rare exceptions, but it is usually not enough to buy and give a child a toy. You need to interest them in the game, show them how to interact with the toy, and how to include it in their favorite game stories.
It is not a toy as such that develops, but an adult, and a toy-first of all, a tool for playing together. Children are very important, if not active live participation in the game of an adult, then at least his approval and presence. Therefore, even toys and manuals, which involve independent play with them, often do not give the mother the desired freedom to finally do their own things.
Tips for parents: how to play with a child
1. Do not deny the child his natural need to share the joy of playing with a close adult – actively participate in the baby’s game, support his game stories, praise, help, if asked, while playing with the child to put aside extraneous matters and thoughts, and, of course, put the phone down. When this need is sufficiently met, the child will be more willing to let go of his mother and play on his own.
2. No need to take all the initiative in the games themselves. Sometimes, the mother believes that she knows better what and how to play the child, so that it will bring more benefit to his development. But this is not always the case.
The baby should be an equal partner in the game, whose wishes and interests are taken into account. He can decide for himself whether to listen to a fairy tale or draw, what color the grass will be in his drawing, whether he wants to draw it with paints, pencils or just fingers, whether he wants to finish the drawing or leave it unfinished, because now he wants to drive cars. Then the child’s games will have a place for creativity and independence.
3. Organize space and time. Sometimes we do not notice how we put an end to the child’s independent activities, because he simply can not realize his motives in the conditions that we have created for him.
Example: a Child is interested in books, but they are only allowed to leaf through them under supervision, and the rest of the time the books are high on the shelf. The same story often happens with paints, scissors, home sandbox, plasticine, cereals, other materials and toys, the consequences of independent games with which may have to be long and difficult to eliminate. From this point of view, of course, there are no equal games on the tablet and cartoons.
But we must understand that the ability to play independently and the ability to sit with a tablet and not interfere with anyone are fundamentally different abilities that require different actions from parents. It is up to parents to decide which of them to develop in their child.
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