Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books. Show all posts

Jul 21, 2008

Tips for Buying Toys

It's another outing to the nearest shopping mall on a weekend. And after lots of shopping for yourselves, you wish to buy something for your little one too. But shopping is no fun with a toddler around. You walk into your child's favourite toy store...and voila, you are surrounded by an ocean of toys. While your child squeals with excitement, and rushes in, touching, tugging and pulling anything and everything he finds interesting, you somehow get hold of a toy and also your toddler and walk out before things become unmanageable. Does this happen to your family too?

Take a deep breath. Here are a few essential tips to choose the right toys at a toy store.

While a whole range of toys are available, it is important for parents to choose the right toys for their children. Toys can help educate as well as stimulate your child's play and imagination.

-Age specific-
Many parents think that their child is much more advanced than others and go in for toys that are not age appropriate, and hence do not interest or intrigue the child. Age specific toys can not only be relevant to your child but also help build many core skills like fine or gross motor skills of a child.

Many toys have small detachable parts which may not be suitable for young children. A pointed edge in a toy can accidentally hurt the eye or an eyeball of a soft toy could be swallowed. So, always make sure that the toy you are buying is safe for your child.

-Appealing to your child's senses-
Toys can be appealing if the child can exercise his senses through it. See if your child loves holding the toy, (say a soft toy for cuddling) or seeing it (if it is colourful) or if it can lead to some games.

Stories can be built around a toy. Teddies can be bought and named as Papa Teddy, Mumma Teddy and Baby teddy and they can be made to do various activities round the house to help your child bring them alive.

- Simple yet F-U-N-
It is important for toddlers to be exposed to letters, letter sounds, and numbers. Look for brightly colored blocks, oversized flashcards, or puzzles with letters and numbers that may also have a tactile component like a fuzzy duck or shiny moon. Some phonological based toys also talk or sing to children. Parents always enjoy helping their child explore and create with oversized paper and crayons, or clay.

Having said that, you need not buy costly toys for your children always however tempting it may be.

Creativity can be enhanced from simple things too. A chair can become a bridge if your child crawls below it. A plastic plate can be a steering wheel. A rope can become a snake, a pencil for writing or it can take shape of letters and numbers.

Help your child play with his toys in various creative ways as possible.

Cardboard boxes interest all children. A throw-away cardboard box can become a doll's house, a cupboard for doll's shoes or clothes.

- Interactive -
A toy that aids your child's imaginative power is always a better choice.

Books with pop-up characters, board books for young children, touch and feel books that babies can scratch and feel or cloth books with mirrors for newborns are wonderful variations to the ordinary books available otherwise.

Below is a cloth book from Lamaze with legs that your baby can touch and play with.

This is a pop-up book that adds a lot of interaction and imagination as opposed to normal storyreading books.

This is a board book with touch and feel areas that are specially made for curious fingers.

Even a variation to the regular cushion can become an interesting gift for your child.

Here is a toy that helps build imagination too.

It is a cushion with a cow tied with a small piece of rope. This builds interactivity with the toy. Your child can hold the cow and place it inside its house and take it out to graze in the field when he is hungry.

To summarize it all, the few pointers to be noted while purchasing a toy to enhance creative skills are:

It should be
1) age specific (relevant to your child's actual or mental age)
2) safe
3) appealing to your child's senses (sight, sound, touch, etc) so that he/she can exercise her eyes, ears or hands.
4) F-U-N
5) interactive where your child can participate (stories can be built around it)
Happy shopping for the right toys for your child.

Have you bought any toy for your child that you think enhanced his/her creative or imagination skills? Share it here at the 'comments' section.

Jun 12, 2008


[I] Making a story

Every child loves listening to stories. But creating one's own story can be very exciting and thought provoking. You can take turns in telling one line of the story.You can make it interesting and amusing by bringing in different surprising leaps in the story so that your child has to connect to your piece of the story and build it further.

The story need not have any logic or make any particular sense.

The story could look something like this:

Child: There was a lion.
Adult: He was old and weak.
Child: One day he was very hungry.
Adult: So, he took the bus to the town to 'Pizza Hut' (Instead of saying, he hunted an animal, add elements to turn the direction of the story every time its your turn to make it a funny game.)
Child: But Pizza Hut was closed.
Adult: So, he called his friend, the elephant and asked him to come over.
(Soon your child will learn how to change the direction of the story without going the conventional way).
Child: But the elephant was too sleepy.

[II]: What's the ending?

Tell your baby a story and stop before the ending and ask him/her to complete it. Once you have heard his/her part of the ending, ask him/her that if Mummy/Daddy had to write the same story what type of ending would it be?

This will help him/her to think of alternative endings to the same set story.

Get hooked to story making!