THE BEST TOYS FOR PRESCHOOLERS AND DAYCARE FACILITIES
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According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, the best toys for children's development are those that foster play between a caregiver and child whether in daycare centers or at home. Traditional hands-on toys and games that fuel the imagination and aid in healthy development will encourage the growth of new skills. These simple, back to basic hands on toys help in the development of children's brains, their language interactions, imaginative play, problem-solving, social interactions and physical activities. To encourage the growth of new skills, try to match the toys to the child's developmental abilities. Go right back to the basics of building blocks, puzzles, Lego and board games. Painting, drawing, coloring and cutting out with a scissors. Glueing objects, making cards, painting leaves, growing beans in cotton wool. Cutting out cookies, baking and decorating them can create such joy and long term bonding memories for children. Digital media based toys do not give children the bonding, warm interaction of playing and pretending side by side with a caregiver or parent. This connection is critical to the healthy development of children.
"The best toys are those that support parents and children playing, pretending and interacting together," said Alan Mendelsohn, MD, FAAP, co-author of the report and associate professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Population Health at NYU Langone Health. "You just don't reap the same rewards from a tablet or screen. And when children play with parents - the real magic happens, whether they are pretending with toy characters or building blocks or puzzles together."
You will find that good daycare facilities will concentrate on keeping toys that encourage interactive, hands on play between children and their teachers and friends. Through this kind of shared play children learn to form friendships, trust, empathy and the joy of companionship.
When choosing toys for your children be aware not to buy toys that overstimulate children instead choose toys that encouraging them to use their imaginations. Try to avoid toys that promote a certain race or gender stereotype that will teach children to have biased views later on in life.
Try limiting computer or video game use by young children. Total screen time, including television and computer use, should be less than 1 hour per day for children 2 years or older, and avoided in those younger than 18-24 months. Children younger than 5 years should play with computer or video games only if they are developmentally appropriate, and they should be accompanied by the parent or caregiver.
Nothing can replace the early brain development of interactive play that is based on human interaction. Make time to sit and play with your toddlers and preschoolers and the rewards will be lifelong. Dream, grow and laugh together!
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