Educational toys are great. They encourage our kids to start learning from an early age. They pretty much cover everything. Starting with letters and numbers when they are infants and then moving right along to shapes, colors, and writing for preschool kids. These toys provide repetitive information to help young children learn, which is necessary since it is one way they learn.
Have you ever thought that kids should be able to play more like the good old days though? It is kind of a dilemma when you go to buy toys. Do I want my kids to be learning or just playing with a toy? It no longer has to be a dilemma. Research shows that pretend play actually helps a child’s development. It helps with their reasoning skills, creativity, and cognitive development. Pretend play as children has been shown to make adults more creative. Overall pretend play is good for your child.
If pretend play is good then what toys should you buy for your child? Some neutral pretend play toy that makes it easy for any child to pretend with is dress up clothes. For any child preschool and even elementary school age, dress up clothes are fun and make pretending seem even more real. Dress up clothes do not have to be expensive either. I always thought that the best dress up clothes were real adult clothes, especially the fancy dresses. You probably don’t want to give your kids your wedding dress and tuxedo. One place to find dress up clothes your kids will love is Goodwill. There are suits, prom dresses, ties, and high heels. You can also buy kids dress up that looks like police, doctor, cook, firefighter, and more. Another dress up idea for boys is to go to a military surplus store and get some uniforms. An idea for girls is to get some play makeup kits. All natural makeup kits are really better for the skin. For more information on natural makeup kits, see http://www.makeupchalet.com/favorite-natural-makeup/. Luna Star makes the best line of all natural makeup for little girls. There are different themes to each set. Some of themes include superstar, rock star, and princess.
Another way to make pretend play fun is with toys that resemble everyday home and work items, like having a play kitchen with plates, utensils, and food. Fake tools are good for the toy box or the garage to work with dad. Outdoor toys, like a rake, lawnmower, or garden tools, are good for any age too.
So next time you go in a store and want to get a fun toy that is not educational, go ahead and get it. Don’t feel bad about it; remember they are actually helping their development. I don’t think leaving out all of the educational toys would be a good idea, but there is a happy medium of having enough pretend play time and educational play time. Have a stress free toy shopping day and encourage your child’s imaginations and creativity.