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Dr. B's Blog

Traditional Toys Trounce Tech

  In an increasing digital based world, it might be assumed that anything high tech is
bigger and better, however a recent report released by the American Academy of Pediatrics
concludes that the best toys for young children are those that engage the imagination and
encourages play between a caregiver and child.
  The AAP report entitled, “Selecting Appropriate Toys for Children in the Digital Era,”
helps parents and other caregivers to select the most appropriate toys for children of different
ages, from birth up until school age. According to Dr. Aleeya Healey, one of the authors of the
report, “Research tells us that the best toys need not be flashy, expensive or come with an app.
Simple in this case, really is better.”
  The report emphasizes that toys that match children’s developmental abilities, while
simultaneously encouraging the growth of new skills is what leads to proper brain development.
The other key component necessary to help children learn such skills as use of language,
symbolic and pretend play, problem solving and social interactions is the adult-child relationship.
Dr. Alan Mendelsohn, co-author of the report, stresses,“The best toys are those that support
parents and children playing together. When children play with parents-the real magic happens
whether they are pretending with toy characters or building blocks or puzzles together.”
  An important finding of the report is that electronic toys don’t provide children with the
interaction and parental engagement that is vital for healthy child development. The American
Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for electronics state: no usage for children less than 2 and
one hour for 2-5 years of age with a caretaker’s supervision and guidance. Highlights
of the report include the following:
     -The most important purpose of a toy is to encourage warm and supportive interactions
and relationships between caregivers and children
     -The best toys foster interactions in supportive, unconditional play
     -Toys should be selected that aren’t overstimulating but encourage imagination
     -Books can be used to develop ideas which are then used for playing with toys
     -Be mindful and avoid toys that may promote gender or race based stereotypes
     -Limit video, computer game and TV use by young children according to age

For more information on the AAP report, “Selecting Appropriate Toys for Children in the
Posted: 4/8/2019 4:11:41 PM | 0 comments