Selecting Appropriate Toys for Young Children in the Digital Era

Except from the 2019 AAP Clinical Report on Toys

-Aleeya Healey, Alan Mendelsohn, COUNCIL ON EARLY CHILDHOOD

...."Traditional (physical) toys can be categorized in a variety of ways: (1) symbolic and/or pretend (eg, dolls, action figures, cars, cooking and/or feeding implements, etc); (2) fine motor, adaptive, and/or manipulative (eg, blocks, shapes, puzzles, trains, etc); (3) art (eg, clay and coloring); (4) language and/or concepts (eg, card games, toy letters, and board games); and (5) gross motor and/or physical (eg, large toy cars, tricycles, and push and pull toys).23High-quality toys in each of these categories can facilitate caregiver-child interactions, peer play, and the growth of imagination. It should be emphasized that high-quality toys need not be expensive. For example, toy blocks, in addition to household objects, can be interesting for a child to examine and explore, especially if the child observes adults using them. Unfortunately, many caregivers believe that expensive electronic toys (eg, sensory-stimulating noise and light toys for infants and toddlers) and tablet-based toys are essential for their children’s healthy development2; however, evidence suggests that core elements of such toys (eg, lights and sounds emanating from a robot) detract from social engagement that might otherwise take place through facial expressions, gestures, and vocalizations and that may be important for social development.24,25" ..... continue to full article
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