Saturday, May 1, 2010
The Simple Things
Since I have been babysitting since the age of 11, I have basically been around little kids and their toys for 20 years! In those 20 years, I have discovered that I dislike anything electronic, anything with sirens, music, voice commands etc. So much so, that I have been known to remove and "lose" batteries from toys. In my opinion we need to get back to the basics with toys. In the electronic age we live in, kids will have plenty of time to be exposed to i-Pods, Nintendo DS, cell phones, computers, portable DVD players, and television. Why not expose them to toys that actually require imagination, creativity and brain power before we lose them completely to text messaging their friends?
I try to encourage Nosy Nora to play with "basic" toys and find that she has more fun, and is engaged longer than with electronic toys. Most of the time, she doesn't even listen to what the electronic toy is telling her to do, it just keeps making noises and she quickly moves on to something else.
I am not a caregiver who is completely against everything electronic all the time, I admit to putting on the Tinkerbell movie when I need a few moments of peace. And, in moderation I don't think there is anything wrong with age appropriate movies, or TV shows, especially those that encourage learning such as Super Why, Dora the Explorer and Sesame Street. But, on the whole we try to stay away from TV and noisy, unimaginative toys.
Below are some examples of toys and activities that encourage pretend play,imagination, motor skills, creativity and brain power. I don't have any sponsors, or ads on this blog, so any brand name I mention is just a personal preference.
Legos or blocks
balls of all shapes and sizes
play kitchen or house with play food and household items
dolls (even for boys, they need to learn how to be good daddies)
dress up clothes
cars, trucks, trains- a great idea is to fill a plastic under the bed storage box with dry rice or beans and the kids can use it as a road, or construction zone
Little People playsets
large beads to string
cups, buckets, watering can and tubs of water outside
crayons, paper,finger paint, paint dobbers, stickers
Play-doh and modeling clay