>> Oct 25, 2012
I remember clearly how we were fighting over which direction the stationmaster (I had a tiny railway set, complete with a stationmaster and a railroad crossing) would face. Of course, being older, I won. But what I distinctly recall is how pleasant the evening was – everyone together, sitting cozily in front of the fire, while my brother and I played to our heart’s content.
It pays to be selective with your child’s toys
I have a lot of other memories with different toys – but to me, nothing could compare to my Lego sets. My mum still has a box of them hidden in the attic, by the way. What can I say – those toys, in my opinion, will never grow old.
Having a four-year old toddler, I also strive, in my own way, to give my daughter the most educational toys. As a parent, it’s hard to say no to her when we walk into a toy shop and she asks for a doll, or a little stuffed toy – but when it comes to toys that will last her a long time, I’m quite selective. There are various criteria that would make me buy a toy for the long term, not only when it comes to durability and affordability, but also when it comes to the long-term development of my child.
The right toy has a big effect on your child’s overall development
Some questions I ask myself when I’m planning to buy a toy are, number 1: is it valuable? With this, I don’t mean the monetary value – I assess the value of the toy to my child’s overall development. Does the toy allow her to be creative and imaginative? What about her physical development? Some toys are great for developing a child’s hand-eye coordination. When it comes to other mental skills, I try to look for a toy that encourages my child to focus and enhance her concentration.
In all these factors, I’ve found that building blocks are a sure winner. My Lego set, for one, lasted me for many years. And, come to think of it, I may just drop by my parents’ attic and hunt for that box from my own childhood – and pass it on to my precious little one.
Tom Veasy is a freelance writer and parent of two with an interest in smart toys for children. Tom regularly writes for retail blogs on the latest smart toys, such as Lego sets.