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Showing posts with label Play. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Play. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

 Learning Through Play | Our Favorite Toys

Learning Through Play | Our Favorite Toys

Sophia started showing interest in puzzles around 9 months old and as every excited parent would do, we shared videos of her completing puzzles and showed enthusiasm for wanting to buy more. However, we were told eventually children will get tired of a puzzle and lose interest so the advice was to not buy many puzzles as it would be a waste of money. Well, if you know me very well, I don't listen and that's what we did. We did not listen.

Sophia's early interest in puzzles was never forced on her, puzzles were made available to her when her PawPaw bought one and as we saw interest, we added more to our collection. We absolutely do not regret it and it was not a waste of money. Sophia is now 6 years old and still loves puzzles even the ones she has outgrown and Bubba also benefitted from all the puzzles and now has a love for them as well. Often times, they go pull out a puzzle on their own and can do the same one repeatedly without ever getting bored no matter how simple or complex it is.

Which leads to the point of this post - I think a lot of times, we, as parents, think because something is not fun to us, it must not be fun to kids. It must be torture for them because it is to us.

In this thinking, I also think we try to overcompensate these “boring” toys with toys that make all the noise or relate to a popular character on kids tv shows (nothing wrong with those as we enjoy some of those as well). However when we project our despising feeling of something on them, we don’t give our children a chance to discover something they would truly love otherwise. 

We also take away their imagination with toys that do it all or relate to characters only and I believe that is why kids get bored with those toys. I often hear parents say: 

"My kids never play with their toys."

Maybe, just maybe, because the noise making toys aren’t open ended, allowing them to move from one storyline to the next as their imagination runs wild.

The toys that look boring to you, allows them to be creative and set a scene and change the scene as they want because that toy goes beyond the beeping noise (that can also get overwhelming). The quiet of a toy allows their brain to focus on being creative and them making noise for the toy (which helps with speech and dialogue building, btw). At least that’s how I have witnessed it in watching children at play in numerous settings over the last 10+ years.

So you may be thinking, then which toys should I buy? 

There are so many great toys but you definitely don't need them all. In general I think it is great to have living books and some type of building blocks (legos, magnatiles, wooden blocks, etc.). That's literally it. 

However, I will share our favorite 2-3 toys per age group, which almost every single toy we still own and has lasted us through each age group and beyond.

6-12 months

1-2 years old
School age children, generally know what they like by now but I found they still enjoy legos and magnet tiles if you have not already introduced those to them. Those two were always big hits when I worked with an after school program.

Also keep in mind, you do NOT need to overhaul your child's toys overnight. Instead keep a running list of what you currently have at home and what toys you would like to add in when it works for your budget. You could also create an Amazon Wishlist and when friends and family ask for gift ideas around birthdays or Christmas, you can send them the link. 

If you are tight on space, consider donating or selling some of the other toys that you know your child doesn't reach for, to make room for the new open-ended toys.

Any questions? Leave a comment!

If you found this post helpful or know someone who would benefit from this post, please feel free to share. I also created a pinnable image so you can bookmark this post to come back to view later on.

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