Choosing a suitable toy for a child can be daunting due to the plethora of options available. A recent study published in the American Journal of Play has found significant differences in how toys are marketed, with traditional toys often touted for physical development, and tech toys for cognitive development. However, it's crucial to know that the companies' claims may not always be substantiated by research.
When purchasing a toy, consider your developmental goals. Would you like the child to hone fine motor skills or spatial abilities? Look for open-ended toys that encourage creativity and require 90% activity from the child and just 10% from the toy.
Recognize and challenge gender biases in toy selection. Both "boys' toys" and "girls' toys" can be enjoyable and beneficial to any child. Be wary of marketing claims, especially those made by tech toy manufacturers. Rely on your own insight and experience to evaluate the educational potential of a toy.
Prioritize toys that foster high-quality, joyful interactions between caregivers and children. Research suggests that caregivers tend to be less responsive when playing with tech toys compared to traditional toys. Ultimately, remember that the goal is to provide meaningful experiences and interactions, not just learning.
Source: [How to Choose Toys that Support Your Baby’s Development](https://theconversation.com/how-to-choose-toys-that-support-your-babys-development-164295)
Image Prompt: A realistic illustration of a caregiver playing with a child using traditional toys, such as building blocks and stuffed animals. The scene should be warm and engaging, demonstrating a joyful interaction between the caregiver and child. Please create the image in a 16:9 ratio and 8K resolution.