Buying Toys is not a Child’s Play

I recently attended the Parents-teacher meet at my kids’ school and saw at least 3 kids with glasses and at least 6 kids on the higher side of weight, ranging from quite chubby to really over weight. And I’m talking about children in the nursery, in a class of 33 students. It’s disheartening and alarming in equal parts! If my opinion is taken I totally believe that the society is highly unsafe to have your kids go out frequently, or even alone. On the other hand, even when we keep kids under strict scrutiny in our homes, we tend to give them gadgets or TV time as being with them 24×7 is an exhausting task. That’s where buying toys come in. But with the never-ending range of toys, it can get overwhelming! Buying Toys is not a child’s play, especially in the Era of Gadget Freaks.

Buying Toys is not a Child's Play

Why do we even consider handing a phone to our child?

Children learn a lot through the play method, and that’s an established fact. We somewhere lack in engaging as our children’s playmates directly affecting their learning. While ‘online play’ does come to us as an easy, lucrative deal, yet it does more harm than good: Here are some common reasons as to why do we even consider handing a phone to our child:

  • Family Structures

Most families today exist in a nuclear setup, where taking care of the household, children, and often Jobs as well, is completely reliant on the parents. There is little or no help in any of these responsibilities, which can make parents tempted to let the child spend some quiet time on a device while they take a few minutes off for themselves.

  • Exhaustion

It takes a village to raise a child! If not in the number of people, at least the amount of energy equivalent to these many people makes the quote true. It can be exhausting to keep up with the energy of a child while juggling with other roles in life. Stress – physical, mental or both, does affect the time spent in active participation with the child. This eventually affects the child’s learning.

  • Lack of Ideas

Some times, the mere lack of ideas creates a hindrance. The what & where of buying toys, where to learn about DIY activities, how do to help my child learn more by play-way… there’s little to no knowledge about these. All we have is the bombardment from toy sellers and toy companies whose only focus is to make a sale. Irrespective of the fact if the toy is supposed to make sense to you or not, if it’s supposed to help your child learn better or not.

  • Lack of awareness

Lack of awareness of the value of a toy is an appalling truth. I have known parents to hand over the phone because ‘eventually, my child remembers all the rhymes” or “we are bored all day, so I just give him the phone for a while”. Parents need to be aware of the importance of “offline play” along with knowing the hazards of screens and the damage they do to our kids on a permanent basis.

To quote a study by the Science Daily, “the more time children under 2 years old spend playing with smartphones, tablets, and other handheld screens, the more likely they are to begin talking later”. 

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  • Intolerance to the wailing Child

Intolerance towards a child that is wailing and howling for some screen time is definitely an alarming situation. One, because the little one is probably addicted by now, and two, that it leaves very less room for an exhausted parent to battle a wailing child with reason. Throw in concepts of gentle parenting and anger management and it poses a bigger challenge to juggle all the balls of right parenting and not give in to the temptation of just offering what they ask for.

So a child is affected on multiple levels – not just affecting the brain, the learning, but also vision, vocabulary, low mobility and poor metabolism of a young child’s body. The list of damage is endless, and the risk of getting into irreversible illnesses like poor vision, obesity, and the like can also be alarming. However, a little tweak can help save us by a mighty percentage.

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TOYS!! All you need to know about buying some:

Which ones are for learning or entertaining, which ones will be a hit, which ones are safe … let me take you through a quick understanding about the FAQs on buying toys.

  1. Which toys are good?

Honestly, there’s no such thing as a bad toy, unless you pick ones with loud noises & bright, blinding lights. It is also a good idea to avoid buying toys of a plastic make, as kids often put them in the mouth and that is nothing close to good. Plastic toys also have less durability and can break easily. And then there’s the carbon footprint and decomposition aspect as well. So buying toys made of wood, rubber, cardboard or paper, and other such materials with no light or sound is an excellent option.

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2. How many Toys should a child have to say the minimum?

Again, there’s nothing like minimum. Just one or two good quality toys that your child loves is the maximum of what they need. If it interests them, you win the battle. But I’d also take this blog as an opportunity to share that it is good to have a mix of a few types of toys. Toys that need players to be sedentary, toys that involve rigorous movement, toys that need fine motor skills and toys that need gross motor skills – should all be in the kitty of your child.

3. Which toys are learning focused?

Rest assured, that whatever toy you offer to your child is going to be a learning opportunity as they will for sure teach your child something. But you may want to buy specific toys for a specific skill that you want your child to build on. For example, toys for fine motor skills will involve the process of threading beads. Toys that build problem-solving skills would have puzzles and stacking techniques involved. For kids who just want to recreate, toys like dolls come in to play. Then there’s pretend play sets, identification of everyday objects, ride-ons, books, you name it and it is there – ready to serve you.

4. Where to buy toys from?

It is usually a good idea to have a touch and feel of the product before you buy it. But, giving in to the busy lifestyle today, it is convenient to buy toys online. Some sites sell each and every kind of toy there is, with little to no description of it. So work on recommendations from friends who have used a certain toy. It is also a great idea to identify toy companies like Skola that are putting in a lot of science & thought behind generating good quality toys for children across age groups. Buying directly from their websites keep the trust factor intact and you know you would get the best of what there is.

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You may also like to read Things that Actually Happened to me as a Parent.

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Disclaimer: This post is a sponsored post, however, the views & opinions expressed in the article are of the author alone.

 

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