Guest post: The Overwhelming World of Toys

Excited to have another great guest writer! Sara, from Rad Babee has some great tips on how to choose toys for little ones in your life!  She is a physical therapist who specializes in orthopedics and sports. She says pediatrics is a whole new, amazing learning experience for her and her little boy (currently 8 months).  She reports they are absolutely loving every minute of it.  Join them on their adventure as they figure out this first year of life!

Rad Babee’s post:

These days, there is an overwhelming amount of choices when it comes to toys. Selecting toys for my child was one of the most overwhelming choices I had to make. This blog post will take you through my thought process and toy selection for my little one.

  1. The toy should encourage development.

Whether it is encouraging gripping or reaching, used for tummy time, or some other milestone; the toy should help your little one grow. The toy should assist with making them stronger, fine tune gripping skills or encourage visual tracking etc. As long as the toy is helping the little one enjoy reaching his or her full potential, then I feel the toy is beneficial and appropriate.

  1. The toy should stand the test of time.

It is a personal opinion of mine that children do not need millions of toys. I would rather select a few key toys that will grow with the child instead of being overrun with excessive amounts of toys that my child has outgrown. Simply selecting toys because they are cute or inexpensive does not seem like good reasons to purchase a toy. Toys that they will play with for years to come such as balls, stacking cups etc will provide you with many years of play. Toys that can be used for long periods of time by allowing for different developmental stages to be encouraged will be a beneficial toy to add to your toy box.

  1. The toy should be multifunctional.

On my quest for the perfect toy, I looked for toys that multitasked. This was yet another way to avoid an overabundance of toys. Why spend so much money on toys when so much money can be spent elsewhere for children? Ie. Educational funds? When researching toys, I looked for toys that served as a dual purpose. Whether that was a ball that was also a rattle; or a mirror with different fabrics for tactile play. If the toy had multiple functions, that again encouraged development, I considered it for my child.

  1. Toys can be simple!

Toys do not always need to be overly expensive and cost a small fortune. For example, block sets are amazing toys that have been around for ages. There is a reason they are still around…. Because kids enjoy them! Simple toys are fantastic for encouraging creativity. In an age where everything is overdone and people struggle to entertain themselves, simple toys might be even more beneficial now than in the past. Encouraging a child to use his or her mind to play teaches them something that seems to be somewhat lost these days.

See Sara’s choices for her child and the full post here.