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Choosing toys that support healthy development

The American Academy of Pediatrics has put out a great position paper advising on the place of toys in a child’s life and what types of toys are best. This point is great:

Recognize that one of the most important purposes of play with toys, especially in infancy, is not educational but rather to facilitate warm, supportive interactions and relationships.

Simpler toys tend to be better for kids’ developmentally and will have more longevity than flashy, electronic toys. Look for toys that promote creativity and imagination. A toy that has one purpose will grow old quick, but something like a wooden block set can have many uses.

Some of the toys and games that are perennial favorites at Solaris include:

  • Finger putty such as Crazy Aaron’s
  • Play-doh
  • Modeling Foam
  • Kinetic sand
  • Legos / Duplo
  • Don’t break the ice
  • Giggle Wiggle
  • What’s in Ned’s Head
  • Beanie babies (great for symbolic play)
  • Balls
  • Bubbles
  • Puzzles
  • Zoom ball
  • Mini trampoline

Further reading:

Selecting Appropriate Toys for Young Children in the Digital Era

Toy Buying Tips for Babies & Young Children

How Play Connects To Learning

 

 

 

The Benefits of Slow Parenting

It’s too easy to get caught up in the trap of busyness and lose track of what is important. We really like this slow parenting movement which calls for families to simplify their life and be present with each other.

John Duffy, a clinical psychologist and author of “The Available Parent”, advises parents how to start slow parenting.

I encourage parents to take some time to just watch their children, whether they are playing, doing homework, or eating a snack. Take a moment to drink them in. Remember and remind yourself how remarkable your children are. That pause alone, even if momentary, can drive a shift in the pace.

Slow parenting is good for young brains too!

Doing too much can be draining on adults, but it can be debilitating for kids whose brains are still developing.“In early development, kids are still wiring. They need to have moments of doing and moments of being for integration to happen,” says Contey (Carrie Contey, cofounder of Slow Family Living). “If they don’t take space for integration that leads to meltdowns and overtiredness. Kids then think they’re not good at school or a certain sport, when that’s not the fact but the byproduct of being overdone.”

Read the full article on Slow Parenting here.