“Toys with sound or visual input improve cognitive skills, but it is important that [the child] be able to interact with them. Banging two pans together is far better brain food than pushing buttons to create noises produced by hidden electronic parts. The child should be able to link cause and effect- and see the parts of the toy at work.”
Your Child’s Growing Mind, Dr. Jane Healy
This quote seems appropriate as we approach the holiday and gift-giving season. I once read that good toys are 90% child and 10% toy. Such toys require the child’s participation, rather than placing the child in the role of spectator.
Some specific suggestions:
- Creativity box, consisting of markers, crayons, colored pencils, glue, scotch tape, child-friendly scissors, papers of varying colors and textures, and a variety of objects (such as seeds, macaroni, Styrofoam packing pieces, greeting cards, wrapping paper scraps). Out-of-date wallpaper books can be an excellent source for paper.
- Painting space (easel or table) equipped with painting supplies and paper. If you have an easel, make sure the paper is large enough to cover most of the painting surface. Newsprint is cheap and readily available at John R. Green Co. in Covington. Old, adult-sized shirts work well as cover-ups. Include a bucket and sponge for cleaning any spills.
- Clay (real clay is also available at Green’s)
- Blocks, Legos, and other building materials
- Age-appropriate games, including card games. Most children love to play games with their parents.
- Outdoor toys
Happy Holidays and Happy Play-Time!
Carol Woods – MCR Educational Consultant