When you choose a toy, you are influencing how your child develops, for toys can change the way a child learns. Be in the know so you can make informed choices. Here are some factors compiled by Dr. D.Vosshage.

Firstly, know your child. Understand your child’s abilities and challenges. When you play with your child, observe your child’s actions and reactions. You’ll soon understand the areas your child needs help in. Try toys that help her developmentally instead of rushing into options like tuition or enrichment. Analyse the issues your child is grappling with.

Does your child need help with her physical development like motor skills,  intellectual (ability to deduce and to reason), language (e.g. communication), emotional (e.g. psychological balance) or social (e.g. interaction with other)? Read up on the topic or consult an expert on the best method to support your child’s development in the area. Your child may be going through a perfectly normal stage of development where a little help or guidance from an adult  can benefit her. You know your child best. So spend time to understand her needs completely before you implement solutions.

Toys can be a useful tool to help you interact with your child. When children do not have toys, they can create their own playthings. She may pick up a stone or a twig and play with it – pushing it, throwing it, dropping it, scratching it, bending it.  What the child is doing, is in fact exploring and learning about these materials, their interactions and functions. By choosing a toy carefully, you can assist your child to learn purposefully. It is generally thought that “open ended” toys enable children to develop creativity. A manipulative toy such as threading of beads can help a child improve dexterity, hand-eye coordination and motor skills. When a child is engaged with such toys, she is in fact developing relevant skills.

Here are a few points you may wish to consider when choosing toys:

Development Booster

Look for quality and safety. Choose toys that are durable.A good developmental toy for young children should really enhance 3 areas of the basic development skills like physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social benefits. There are some toys that cover all 5 areas.

Durable Toys

Look for a toy that can sustain a child’s interest for years. Some toys come with many aspects and as a child grows, they will use the toys in a different ways. Take for example wooden bricks. A baby may be content watching one build a tower for them. A toddler may fancy knocking it down. An older child may use the same bricks for construction or imaginative play. And good quality bricks can last for many years if well cared for. Look for toys that allow your child’s imagination to flow.

Choose Age-Appropriate Toys. 

Observe your child’s development, interests and preference and choose toys accordingly. Enjoy your child’s learning stages as they continue to take enthusiasm in toys and playthings.

Dr. D.Vosshage is the managing director of Kids Treasure, a place for quality toys from around the world. For more details, visit www.kidstreasures.com.sg