Selecting the Right Toys for your Child

by : Jonnalyn Ajeda

Every year, hundreds of toys flood the market, providing a wide range of choices for the discerning parent, godparent, grandparent, aunt, uncle and whoever feels like Santa the whole year through.

But are you really discerning in your choice of toys? Child development and play experts warn that there is such a thing as “sentimental buying". The toy buyer who gives a toy because he once had one like it, or he aspired for it but never had one, or would like one for himself had he been a child now or had it been available when he was child. Experts agree there is nothing wrong with this, only don't feel disappointed when the child does not warm up to your nostalgic gift.

Psychologists even note that toys bought by adults reveal much more about the buyer than about the child it was bought for. You should not think that “it is just a toy". Evidently, a toy should be taken seriously.

Which is just as well, because play, and the accessories used with it, is a serious business, and should, by all means, be treated as such. Play is the highest form of learning for a child. It is the official “job", the “profession", the “business", or however else it is called in the adult world, of childhood. When kids engage in play, they acquire new skills, learn about themselves and the world around them, and find their place with regards to dealing with other kids and the adults in their world and the world in general.

Keep The Child In Mind

this should get you on the right track – focus should be in the child who will be playing with the toy. As every person and child is unique, so is his needs and interests.

Know The Child

That is the most important consideration in buying a toy – if the giver is not the parent, then he must get to know the child well.

Techno Savvy

Early childhood educators also caution against being lured into buying electronic toys that only provide high-tech entertainment and not much else.

The True Toy

A proper development toy is a “true" toy, in all senses of the word – it can be manipulated by a child, motivate him to think and conceive things, conjuring up a world all his own.

Be Neutral

Don't just amass toys specific to your child's gender. Let your son play with his sister's dolls and let your daughter play with her brother's trucks.

The Classics

Experts advise investing in toys with proven developmental benefits, which are usually the classic ones – those that will never go out of style.

Useful Toys For Long Trips

When going on long journeys, whether by plane or on road trips, it is helpful to have an ammunition of toys to appease grumbling kids.

As a final note, psychologists exhort parents and other adults to go right down on the floor and play with your kids. This is one fun privilege of being a parent which encourages interaction and bonding with your child and creates opportunities for further learning.