The best products for your child have a lot of Play Value. You want long lasting products that will provide hours of fun like wooden blocks, construction playsets and puzzles. Look for various textures, shapes, sizes, and colors. Your child will enjoy a trike and outdoor play equipment. For indoors select a good mix of art supplies, playsets, books and tapes.
Take your child to the toy store. She will be excited by many choices. This is a great way to hear what your child thinks. Let her create her Wish List. Consider toys by Brio, Darda/Heroes, Discovery Toys, Fisher Price, LEGO, Little Tikes, Playskool, Radio Flyer and Todays Kids.
Look for quality. Consider the materials used. Examine workmanship. It is said that we get what we pay for but, unfortunately, this is not always true. Imagine your child playing with the product. Children have short attention spans so even the best toy will be used only for a short time.
Study age labeling for appropriateness. Observe the toys and other products your child plays with at preschool. You can learn a lot by observing. Products too complex are frustrating and those too easy are boring. Show the child how to use the product only if he needs help. Its best to allow children to discover for themselves.
Toys offer a variety of self- expression. An angry child can use a foam bat and ball, a bop bag or hand-puppets to express his feelings. For creativity he will benefit from clay, finger paints and crafts. For learning, use sorting of shapes, sizes and weights, plus books and tapes. Eye-hand skills improve with ring toss, bean bags and construction products.
Whatever your preschool child does he will have fun and show a lot of enthusiasm for play.
Dr. Toy, Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Childhood Resources, expert in child development and childrens products, selects The 100 Best Childrens Products now included in Dr. Toys Guide: a new magazine on the Internet's World Wide Web at http://drtoy.com. Send your questions & experiences to . (c) l995, 1996, 1997 Stevanne Auerbach, PhD San Francisco, CA.
This article may not under any circumstances be resold or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from the author.
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