Thoughtful Toy Tips for the Kids on Your List

Between Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the constant ads, holiday gift shopping can be overwhelming, especially when you’ve got little ones on your list.

We asked pediatrician Jennifer McBride, MD who sees patients in our pediatric clinic in the Health Sciences District what to keep in mind when looking for enriching toys.

Dr. McBride said the American Association of Pediatrics lays out four goals to keep in mind.  Enriching toys should promote:

Imagination

Developmental Milestones

Family Time

Play and Interaction

So how do you make sure the gift you pick meets one of those goals?  We asked Dr. McBride that too.  Below you’ll find some suggestions for each category.

Imagination

  • Dolls
  • Hand Puppets
  • Art
    • Coloring Books
    • Crayons
    • Stickers

Developmental Milestones

  • Balls
  • Bicycles or other riding toys
  • Push toys

Family Time

  • Blocks
  • Board Games
  • Card Games

Play and Interaction

  • Toy Trains
  • Kitchen
  • Play Food

The gift ideas above do not make up a definitive list, but hopefully help point you in the right direction, and as you may have noticed, many of the items make sense in multiple categories.


Some other tips Dr. McBride had to share include:

-Infants do not necessarily need educational toys.  At that age, it’s good to focus on developmental milestones and building relationships.

-If you’re buying for a child you don’t know very well, pay attention to the age guide on the toy.  Those are based on developmental milestones.  If you purchase something above the child’s ability, he or she is just likely to get frustrated with the toy.  This goes for infants as well, although for babies, you can buy ahead.  Just let the parents know to hold on to it until it’s appropriate for them to start playing with it.

-Steer away from single player games.  With all of the screens and technology out there, enriching gifts should focus on getting the kids to play and interact with others.

copyright © | website support