EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Kids and toys go hand and hand during the holiday season, but time at play is more than just fun.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says it can help with a child’s overall development. Toy time can be time well spent for kids of any age. But it starts with choosing the right toy.
“With any toy, you want to make sure that it’s developmentally appropriate for the child,” Doctor and Pediatrician Jeffery Kile of PAK Pediatrics said.
Doctor Kile says, take infants for instance who cannot see colors very well.
“So really, it’s trying to find toys with very bright, differentiated colors or those that are even black and white with big contrasts,” said Dr. Kile.
For toddlers, look for toys to help them achieve a particular task.
“Toys that maybe they have to reach for or things that they have to stand up for and hold so you’re trying to get that motor development going,” Dr. Kile explained.
While you may be tempted to buy the latest, greatest toys for your children, consider the simplest ones like trucks and dolls which serve a useful purpose.
“They help them learn to pretend which is really important and get an imagination and that is of utmost importance,” Dr. Kile explained.
The older the child, the more challenging the toy can be according to Toy Trends Specialist Jennifer Lynch.
“When you look at building sets, hands-on construction play that is just so critical to building those fine and gross motor skills and engaging them,” said Lynch.
“STEM” toys can help children experience science, technology, engineering, and math. These, too, can be age specific.
“Even if you feel that your child is maybe a little bit more advanced than what the label says for the toy, you really want to stick into that… into that age that the toy says is appropriate for,” said Dr. Kile.
Some, like this plastic construction toy kit, are intended for kids 7 and older.
“There’s information about aerodynamics so you can create the fastest car,” Lynch explained.
Appropriate toys: getting kids on the fast track to their development. Remember to keep toys with small parts out of the hands of young children.