Many years ago, my wife and I decided that we would not have children. It was the very best decision for us at the time. I have been blessed with over 25 nieces and nephews throughout the years, but most of them are too far away to visit on a regular basis. We do have one young child in our lives that is a Great Niece, though, and have decided to pamper her with as many things as we can. She is currently 3 years old and so the “what should we get her?” question had an easy answer. We wanted to teach her with toys, toys, and more toys!
Look for toys that are engaging!
As she gets older, we have been fortunate enough to see her grow with a depth of learning and intuition not often seen in a child of 3 years. So, our decision to purchase toys that would teach her, and at the same time stimulate her creativity, was a no-brainer! Most every little girl I know loves dolls and princesses. Anything to do with a dollhouse or a castle is always a winner, but do these things teach with any depth? Tea sets and stuffed ponies, puzzles and crayons all seem to have an impact on a childs ability to learn new things. We have purchased these types of toys and seen growth and accomplishment through activities related to them.
Teach with sights and sounds.
The mind of a youngster is an amazing thing, and it’s important to keep the mind busy with a variety of stimulus. Alphabets and building blocks, crayons, clay and paint sets, books with short stories that catch the imagination are all great sources to associate with and learn from. Toys or books that teach the alphabet and make noises of animals and sounds that help a child to learn these sounds, are effective tools to teach at an early age. It also helps to have a goofy Great Uncle to play with, but it’s the toy that helps to make it fun and interesting.
Purchase from reliable sources.
There are a multitude of choices when you are purchasing toys. We are fixed on a few companies that, we believe, offer toys that provide hours of FUN and a reasonable amount of time to teach (the length of time a child continues to play with the toy) before they get tired and want to move on to the next thing. You’ll find a short list, below, of 4 websites that we purchase from and have been completely satisfied with.
We have a few basic rules we suggest you follow to teach your child with toys, and to give them the best possible experience:
The toys must be safe to use for the age range of the child.
They must be free of any dangerous exposures, to the materials they are made from.
The toys must be just above the learning reach of the child, to allow for stretching of the mind.
They must be reasonably priced.
And, they must be FUN!