Her article inspired this post.
[tag]Play[/tag] with kids is all about balance. Choosing to do activities that enhance and ultimately benefit them in the long run. I’ve never taken the line of no TV in our house but I do control the TV. There is an overwhelming amount of pressure to buy, want and have from kids. TV and friends have become the reason we buy ‘this’ toy. Sadly reason, research and playfulness don’t have as much sway as they should.
How do you pick your toys? What are your influences?
This is traditionally the time of year that we all consider gifts. Do you communicate your toy choices for your home to friends and family? Do you have a toy policy- what comes in and what will never come in? Many people do. Why? to encourage rich learning experiences for playful children you sometimes need to be the chooser of their things.
We haven’t limited what comes into the house but we do think carefully about our toy choices. We talk about what our children love to play with and do; we might send a suggested list of items they’d love but it’s mostly to give them an idea of our style. We take and send pictures of the type of play they love. It helps.
The boys will receive all sorts of toys chosen by their friends and family but we can make sure that the toys we know will be suitable, because we choose.
I liken it to eating vegetables and fruit. It’s my duty to provide a balanced diet that includes things they may not like to begin with, because it’s strange and different. However they learn to like and sometime love it. It’s my responsibility to provide the opportunity to explore that taste & smell. The boys will experience junk without trying to with birthday parties, social functions, [tag]playdates[/tag] and the like. The scales tip in junks favour it you are not careful. The same way with toys. We need to be that counterweight. Balancing the needs of our child- to play, explore, learn, create & imagine against the amazing pressure from marketing & media to buy X [tag]toy[/tag] because of its unproven educational value.
I’m not a fan of [tag]electronic toys[/tag] for young children. But family send them. We restrict the amount of time and monitor the activity and suggest as nicely as possible that electronic toys just aren’t for us, right now. We’re able to value the toys lovingly bought and yet limit the play time so other more productive play does not suffer.
- Consider limiting electronic toys and educational products for the young ones.
- Audit their play time and make sure the majority of play experience are nurturing to their forming brains, maturing bones and spark their creativity allowing them to create and develop independently of the toy.
So now you are looking for toys for your little one.
Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment is a national group of educators deeply concerned about how children’s entertainment and toys are affecting the play and behavior of children in our classrooms.
They produce a downloadable guide to choosing toys. From an excellent section on choosing toys of value to a handy checklist when you look at a toy to decide if it’s one to choose for you and your family values. Also a checklist of what to avoid in a toy and why.
Before you go shopping for toys this year take a look; download and share with your spouse, friends, and family. Allow your toy choices to be more informed than just the heavy marketing and the side of the box we all get but now you have another voice; more choice.
We are the ones that bring in the toys. We need to be the counterweight to ensure a balance of play opportunities. Balance….balance…balance.
How do you choose your toys? What toy choices have you made this year? Share your favourite toys shops?
Next…….. Where are those creative toys?
********************What’s on the play activities radio today? ********************
Teaching Your Child Self Control
Rae Pica and Laura E. BerkÂ