With the holiday season upon us, we are inundated with advertisements for the latest and greatest gadgets and toys for little ones. The American Academy of Pediatrics has toy buying tips for young children to help guide thoughtful gift-giving this holiday season.
- The best toys are those that match your little one’s developmental stage and encourage learning
- Safety first!
- Ensure toys are appropriate and safe for your children and be aware of safety recalls
- Seek out gifts in these main categories:
- Pretend/Imagination: dress-up items, play kitchen with utensils, train set, etc.
- Fine motor/manipulatives: blocks, puzzles, legos, etc.
- Art: coloring books, markers/crayons/pencils, paint set, stickers, etc.
- There is no need to purchase expensive art products as many “art supplies” can be found right at home
- Language: books, toy letters, card and board games, etc.
- Consider board, card, and activity games the entire family can participate in together
- Gross motor: tricycles, balls of various sizes, child-sized basketball hoop or bowling set, etc.
- Be mindful of the amount of time your child spends in front of screens
- While many electronics such as tablets and laptops are highly desired and may claim to be “educational”, excessive screen time has long-term consequences for neurodevelopment
- The AAP recommends no or very limited screen time for children under the age of 2 years and no more than 2 hours per day for children over the age of 2
- When allowing screen time, always ensure it is supervised
This holiday season, keep in mind these tips from the experts when selecting gifts for your little ones to help them grow and thrive! If you have any questions or concerns regarding appropriate toys for your children, please contact your pediatrician. Here are some helpful links: