Monday, October 17, 2016

Buying Kids the Wrong Toys article

Buying kids the wrong toys

I read this article last night and my teacher mind found it fascinating. I read my favorite points out loud to Kley and his response was, "Wow, you're really into this, aren't you?" Ha.

It's about how open ended toys are best for kids, but that's not what the majority of toy stores are selling. Open ended toys focus on what the child can do with the toys, not what the toy can do for the child. A lot of the toys in stores are battery operated and filled with voices, songs, buttons, styluses, etc. and don't offer much room for the child to create anything- it's all presented to them, in attempts to "wow" them into being mesmerized.

I'm not saying you should never have battery operated toys like that, but I do agree, especially from a teaching perspective, that open ended toys are best, because it allows for imagination and creativity. The author went into a few paragraphs about blocks, and about how people are trying to sell these amazing blocks with designs on every side or animals encased inside, but really all they need are plain blocks. She said that often children don't choose the open ended toys first, which I've seen as well. If I put blocks out for the week, Norah often does not choose them first on her own. Rarely, actually. The author says that parents need to get on the floor and engage with their kids more, instead of expecting the toys to entertain them so they can get other things done. I think that's a big one! Kids need to be taught how to play correctly and have modeled for them all the different things they can do. When the author says she sits down and starts playing with blocks, even without inviting her kids to play, they will soon join with her, and I've found that true with Norah as well. There are so many different things you can do with blocks, and playing with them together captures her attention for a long time. Doing it together models healthy play, different options of creativity, and many other things like building muscles and skills that help children do better in school later.

I thought it was a great article! There are also lots of links to quality open ended toys in it too, so take a peek if you are interested!

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