Selecting appropriate toys for young children in the digital era can be difficult.
“Especially around Christmas, you see it. A lot of the stuff that’s advertised is the newest stuff, the electronics,” Aaron Bowman of Thinker Toys said.
And although children are often times attracted to the newer things, those things are not always what’s best for them.
The American Academy of Pediatrics just put out a report that suggests heavy use of electronics may interfere with young children’s speech and language development.
Leading up to Christmas, they want parents to choose toys that encourage children to use their imaginations.
“I like the traditional toys, where they have to really think, put things together take things a part, use their fine motor,” Liz Davies of Winchester said.
Davies has two grandsons and she says she couldn’t agree more with the report, and says that when given the opportunity, kids can have fun doing other things that don’t revolve around a digital screen.
“My grandkids have more fun playing with the boxes that the presents come in sometimes, so imagination, they need to use their imagination,” Davies said.
Aaron Bowman owns Thinker Toys in Winchester, and he says the number of parents that come in specifically looking for non electronic toys is at an all time high.
“They don’t want the kids on a phone or on a tablet the whole times, part of it is just wanting to interact.” Bowman says.
The American Academy of Pediatrics report says the best toys need not be flashy or expensive or come with an app. The best toys go back to the basics, and Bowman says doing so offers them something they have never experienced.
“This stuff is new, a yo-yo- is new. A Rubix cube over the last couple of years has been real big, that was a new thing to them,” Bowman said.
“I got a spinning top because that’s old fashioned, and its going to be fun to watch them pump the top and watch it run around the room.” Davies says.
The report states that electronic toys by themselves do not provide children with the interaction and parental engagement that is critical to healthy development.