How to choose toys: a scientific approach
American scientists published the results of a study according to which parents are encouraged to buy traditional toys for children and abandon electronic toys, which, as previously thought, contribute to children’s development.
Electronic toys, scientists say, interfere with the interaction between children and parents and with each other. Moreover, many allegations that electronic toys contribute to the development of the child have not been scientifically confirmed.
In contrast, the use of electronic toys during the study had
negative consequences, in particular, a decrease in certain psychological functions and general motor actions (balancing, running, etc.). For example, if a child uses e-books, rather than traditional paper ones, he understands their content worse.
In other words, according to scientists, electronic toys and devices have fewer advantages for a child than traditional ones.
The most common types of toys
So, what kind of toys are most conducive to the development of children? They can be classified according to the following criteria:
1. Toys that strengthen fine motor skills
Certain toys develop a child’s fine motor skills: finger dexterity, wrist flexibility, etc. Games with such toys require the child to grab, hold, or manipulate objects. For example, a child can build structures out of cubes, assemble puzzles, or cut figures out of paper.
2. Educational toys
Toy cars and planes, dolls, toy dishes, etc., are all attributes of symbolic games and imagination games. The simpler the toys, the better, as they give your child more space for imagination. Each time, playing such toys, the child can create new worlds in his mind.
3. Toys that promote creativity
Children often like creative activities: drawing, modeling, etc., especially if the child at the same time feels the freedom of expression and is not afraid of criticism. For creativity, a child may need colored paper, scissors, colored pencils, paints, plasticine, etc.
4. Toys that develop imaginative thinking and language skills
Board and card games help to teach children the simplest mathematical actions, strategic thinking, develop social skills and ability to solve problems. In addition, it is useful to read books with the child, as this will help him develop his vocabulary and language skills.
5. Toys that promote physical development
Many toys, especially electronic ones, do not help the child’s physical activity. A prolonged sitting position during the game often leads to health problems (for example, obesity) and provides little opportunity for the child to develop motor skills. Certain toys contribute to physical development: bicycles, balls, jump ropes, etc.
The main task of any toys is to promote a positive and supportive interaction between children or between children and parents. Therefore, both traditional and electronic toys need to be used not to replace social interaction, but, on the contrary, to develop it. In this context, the best toys are those that contribute to the development of language and problem-solving skills, cooperation, creative abilities, etc.
In addition, researchers focus parents on the fact that toys for a child should be safe and appropriate for their age and level of development.
Therefore, choose safe toys for the child, developing his imagination, facilitating interaction with other children, learning to solve various problems, as well as stimulating mental and physical activity. Electronic and sound toys are not necessarily the best. Sometimes the best toys are the simplest, because they motivate the child to use his imagination in the game.