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WebMD archives content after 2 years to ensure our readers can easily find the most timely content. Give a kid a new toy -- almost any toy -- and chances are, you've got a happy kid. Young children generally aren't fussy when it comes to baby toys and kids toys, but parents should be. Toys are more than just playthings, though, and while they should be fun, they should also be age-appropriate, stimulating, and safe. Toys that do too much don't allow to use their own imagination. Dolls and stuffed animals that talk or sing or direct kids to press certain buttons essentially take charge of the play situation when the child should be the one directing the action.
We live in an electronic age, and any parent who thinks they can keep their child -- even a toddler -- away from computers and the like forever is kidding themselves. But for young kids, especially, it's crucial to set limits. Research has suggested that electronic toys pose several possible dangers for children's health and development, including hearing loss from loud toys , weight gain from being inactive while playing , and language and developmental delays.
One recent study at Temple University showed that toys that don't require to do anything but watch promote a passive learning style, which can interfere with learning to think independently. Kids who use these toys frequently can find it difficult to focus on something like a book or non-moving toy. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids under age 2 shouldn't watch TV or play computer games at all; kids over 2 should have their "screen time" limited to hours per day.
The educational toy business is booming, playing on parents' fears that their kids need to learn as much as they can as soon as possible to give them a leg up in the future. Not all such age-appropriate toys are inherently bad -- CDs that expose kids to classical music or foreign languages are fine, for example -- but many baby toys and kids toys boast that they can boost brain development or create early readers and mathematicians.
A report from the Kaiser Foundation found that many of these claims are unsupported. And if your child has several toys of a similar type, let him fully explore one before introducing another. Kids don't, for example, need five different shape-sorters out at one time. The same toy can also carry through many different developmental stages, so don't be in a rush to replace old toys with new ones, says Panacione.
Using blocks with siblings or friends also teaches frustration tolerance and cooperation with others. Children enjoy toys that they can master and that are right for their particular stage of development. Here are some suggestions for the types of toys kids benefit from most as they go through different stages:. They are discovering their own bodies, working on eye -hand coordination, reaching, and grasping. Age-appropriate toys for babies include: mobiles, rattles, busy boxes, and anything they can begin to grasp, swipe at, pull, kick, squeeze, or shake.
They are learning about cause and effect and they will repeat activities over and over in order to master them. They also like to transfer toys from hand to hand and into and out of containers. Many of the same toys for infants will be used in new ways by older babies.
They also begin to experiment with size, shape, and space. Miniature farm and house sets allow them to exercise their imagination, while large crayons, finger paints, and Play-Doh help develop creativity. Children also make huge gains in both fine and gross motor skills throughout this period, so puzzles, large Legos, blocks, and other construction toys are perfect age-appropriate toys.
Noise is always an enticement, so young children love drums and hammer-and-peg toys at this age range. Parenting Feature Stories. Continued Don't fall for toys that call themselves educational. Keep only a few toys out at one time. Continued Choose age-appropriate toys. Here are some suggestions for the types of toys kids benefit from most as they go through different stages: months : Infants are fascinated with movement, sounds, and simple black and white visuals.
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Choosing Safe Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers