“Hey Jessica, will you turn that TV off!” said mummy. “Oh mum, I am watching my favorite cartoon show!” answered 5-year-old Jessica.
This is the scenario in many houses these days as children are often hooked to television. Though educational TV programs and a few cartoon shows are good to watch, it is highly recommended that a time limit is set as studies reveal that children watching too much TV especially kids less than 2 years of age develop sleep problems and their usage of speech is reduced.
Alternatively, you can get your kid to play with toys instead. Studies have shown that playing with toys is beneficial to a child’s cognitive, physical, social and emotional well being.
Children are naturally attracted to toys and as a parent; all you need to do is to put in some effort to help your kid play with the right toys, thus participating in his/her mental and physical growth.
Here are the best tips to make your work easy:
- Buy age appropriate toys
Remember, picking up toys that suits your child’s age will increase his/her interest in playing with the toy. There are many age appropriate toys sold in stores. So choose and pick them accordingly.
- Buy toys that your child likes
Liking towards toys vary from child to child. So before purchasing a toy, try to find out what your kid will like or you may even consider taking him/her to the toyshop to pick his/her favorite toy.
- Encourage your child to play with different toys
Don’t let your child play with the same type of toy all the time. Motivate him/her to explore other toys as well because each type of toy helps develop different type of ability. Toys like blocks and puzzles will help build cognitive skills while dressing up dolls will improve imagination and expression. Sports toys like a bicycle will develop coordination skills while painting develops creativity. So remember to have a variety of toys at home.
- Pick toys that teach
Consider buying toys that teach your child as he/she plays. Alphabet and number blocks, taking dolls, push & pull toys; electronic talking toys, etc are good teaching toys.
- Choose outdoor toys
Select toys that can be used to play outdoors and encourage your child to play no matter where he/she is. Backyard play toys, natural sand and water table are a few good outdoor toys.
- Look for cross-generational toys
Though most toys are geared towards kids, there are a few that will require adult participation as well. So look for such toys and play together with your child.
- Encourage your kid to read
Books are great toys too. They improve your child’s creative thinking and build language skills. Be sure to pick age appropriate books to involve your child in active reading.
- Buy painting toys
Painting is a great way to teach your kid about colors and learn social skills. So let them get messy with paint at times and explore colors.
- Choose multiple usage toys
Buy toys that can be used for multiple games, like wooden blocks, road, bridge and zoo making toys. Such toys are open-ended and allow your child to learn problem solving and logical thinking.
- Do not invest in too much of toys
Toys are good for kids but too much toys can be overwhelming. So choose toys wisely and buy only those that are necessary. By doing so you limit the number of toys you buy for your kid and also ensure they are the best, which is required for their mental and physical growth.
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Toys not only come in handy to keep your child occupied when you are busy but toys are also the best way for you to bond with your child. So inculcate the habit of playing with toys in your child at an early stage. After all, playing with toys is a child’s right!
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