Toys are children’s Words, and Play is their Language.
Toys are important. Playing for children is not a break from learning, rather play IS the real learning.
As a new mother, I rarely invested in my children’s toys. I felt hat they can always play with regular things at home, so why bother in spending and storing so many things. Unfortunately we live in a world where there are far too many distractions and far too little focus on concentration.
Off late I have discovered several products which my children (and I) seem to be enjoying a great deal. Having explored numerous toys, I can easily put them in two categories:
- Is the toy playing with the child
- Is the child playing with the toy
Category 1 is the type where the toy is performing all the activities and moving around. Whether it is singing ABC using 47 batteries (I despise batteries), or a train moving on a track, or a doll dancing around to music. The child in this case is initially excited and jumping around, but eventually and after a while simply sitting and watching the toy move.
It is only a matter of days when this type of a toy is discarded because:
a. the battery ran out
b. the child got frustrated as he/she didn’t have much contribution to it
c. you got frustrated because of the annoying sirens and sounds blaring out
Category 2 – the child is playing with the toy. These kind of toys put children in the driver’s seat and let their imagination and creativity take center stage. There is no no predefined structure.
Category 2 is what your children need to be playing with. It is my personal favorite discovery and I cannot emphasize the need for open-ended toys enough!
What is the big deal about open-ended toys anyway?
Open-ended toys have no rules! There is no right or wrong. Playing with open-ended toys further heightens a child’s curiosity and creative imagination because of its unrestricted outcome.
Open-ended toys make the child feel inspired and in control. The key word is ‘reinvention’. These toys can be reinvented as a child’s age changes, unlike conventional toys which only showcases a cause and effect (think ON/OFF button on several toys your child owns)
Why to invest in them when there are cheaper toys in the market?
Investing in a sturdy, high quality and safe open-ended toy might initially cost you more, but it surely will stay longer in the toy cabinet as compared to that battery operated robot! If you do a cost-benefit analysis, the number of times your child will play with a push button musical phone as against blocks, you’ll get your answer.
Most Open-ended toys are non-plastic
Another important outcome that I learnt out of using open-ended toys was the toxicity of conventional toys.
Did you know that most of the toys in your child’s cabinet are made of cheap quality plastic, that are constantly emitting dangerous toxic chemicals into their body. This can cause irreversible damage to them!
How to spot the right toy?
My go-to mantra for buying toys:
- Is the child playing with the toy or the toy playing with the child?
- Is it free of Toxic chemicals?
- Is it sustainable? (should naturally decompose and not land up at the bottom of an ocean or landfill)
Tap on my recommended TOY LIST to exclusively view my curated list of NON-TOXIC, SUSTAINABLE AND MADE IN INDIA PRODUCTS.