Do you often end up buying toys for your toddler or preschooler that you may regret about later? You are not the only one. Here is a useful guide to the various toys your child can do without
By Tasneem Sariya
Toys are a vital part of growing up and they play an important role in the development of the child, in myriad ways. Various motor abilities as well as emotional, social and cognitive skills, are developed through toy-assisted play. That is why choosing the correct toys for your little one is an important task that parents need to take seriously.
There are certain criteria that cannot be compromised while buying toys for your child. These include checking if they are non-toxic, lead-free and washable, and if they could be a choking hazard. As with almost all other things, children tend to put toys into their mouths, which is why, it is always better to ensure that the toys you get for your child, comply with all safety standards. It is not uncommon to find children being rushed to the emergency ward after getting hurt from the sharp edges and electric appendages of a particular toy. In fact, long-term adverse effects on hearing, sight and body posture can also be related to overuse of particular types of toys.
Some toys can be a complete no-no, while parents may not realise the nuisance value of such playthings. Here is taking a look at some of the toys that are best avoided.
The continuous whistling of the toy engines, the shrill music from the toy guitars or the headache-inducing repetitive phrases and tones of toy phones can drive anyone to the edge. Mind you, these loud racketing playthings are usually a favourite with children, who find it extremely amusing to press the same buttons over and over again. But in the long-term, such toys may be more detrimental rather than beneficial to your child’s growth. So, avoid noisy toys as much as possible.
Toys such as guns, arrows, swords and other aggression-inducing toys should not have any place in your little one’s toy chest since all of them promote violence. Cautioned use of such toys is highly advised, since the child may tend to believe that it is okay to use aggressive body language as a method of play.
Do not even think about buying toys that have leaflets of instructions on assembling them for toddlers. Imagine your plight when you to have to assemble the entire toy with your three-year-old supposedly hovering around and helping you do so. Similarly, toys that need to be plugged into sockets or those consisting tiny pieces that need to be put together painstakingly, are nothing short of potential disaster creators. It is therefore absolutely imperative to make sure that the toy is age appropriate for the child.
Let’s admit it, nurturing and hanging out with a toddler means a constant call to cleaning. There will always be things and stuff that you will have to keep clearing away or putting back in its rightful place. Imagine your plight, if your woes are doubled with the introduction of playthings that only add to the mess. Messy play is good for a child’s development and should be encouraged in a safe environment. But harmful paints, glitter toys and so on not only make a mess but threaten your child’s health.
While you can allow limited screen time for your children and monitor them unobtrusively, think twice about buying toys that have internet built into them. These are still not very common in India but are slowly gaining popularity especially in the form of internet-enabled children’s watches.
At the end, we as parents want our children to have a happy and full childhood and playing is the foremost way of defining and identifying it. In our pursuit of giving them the best, we often tend to buy them expensive, flashy toys or highly brain-teasing toys that claim to widen mental development. But let us also remember, that simple and ordinary things too help to develop and bring happiness to your child. In fact, they will surprise you with how much they enjoy playing with leftover scraps, cardboard boxes and their vast imagination.
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