Choosing the Best Toys and Books to Suit your Baby, Toddler or Pre-schooler
How do you ensure you're selecting your child the best toys and books to suit their developmental stage?
Ensuring your children have the best toys, books and activities to suit their developmental stage is critical for their brain development and learning. Researchers are constantly proving that the way you interact with your child and the experiences/activities you expose them to in the early years will dictate how their brain develops and ultimately how their intelligence will grow. (Read our article here for more info).
Remember toys alone don’t make your child smarter. It is the best toys and books at the right stage as well as the quality interaction you as the parent/caregiver have with your child that will grow your child’s intelligence in many ways.
We hear time and time again from parents that they get confused when choosing toys and books for their children as there is such a huge variety out there and it’s hard to know which ones are going to help with their child’s learning and development in a positive way.
When choosing toys - ask yourself what is the purpose of this toy?
- is it to purely entertain my child and/or me?
- is it to stimulate genuine learning?
- and is it going to stand the test of time?
If you’re looking at bright colourful toys with all the bells, buttons, levers and whistles, lighting up, flashing, music blasting, moving etc, ask yourself what the learning purpose of the toy might be? Generally these type of toys are entertaining and will teach your child cause and effect (i.e. push button, toy moves or lights up etc). However that can often be the limit of the toy.
The rule of thumb is that the more the child has to use their mind and bodies whilst playing with the toy the more they will learn.
We know children learn by "playing" and "doing" as they explore and discover in their own unique way. Children need simple toys that have a multipurpose learning function and engage interest long after the first hours. The toys must be open-ended, spark their curiosity and imagination. Toys also need to help develop problem-solving and thinking skills.
We advocate that kids have a few well chosen best toys suitable for their age and stage rather than toy boxes full of single purpose, non-educational toys.
When you see the selection of toys we advocate on our website you will see quality educational toys that can be used for many learning purposes across many Learning Leaps. You as a parent will get more “mileage” out of the quality GrasshopperKnees toys when you know how to maximise the learning this toy generates.
If you'd like more information or help on choosing the best toys or books for your child, get in touch we always love to chat about how toys, books and learning activities can really help your child.