Toys at Christmas: what should a toy bring to a child?
In Christmas, each child receives their own share of gifts. But when we consider this question, a thousand questions begin to assail us: what are the best toys for our children? The most expensive? Does not the toy we choose matter? And maybe then we decide to look for the answers in the multicolored catalogs that fill our mailboxes without taking into account for what a toy really serves.
The toy it is the tool that the child uses to develop his abilities; is the complement that supposes the ludic activity. Parents can feel a certain anguish when it comes to choosing toys because the offer is huge and the objectives are unclear.
Therefore, sometimes, we do not choose the most appropriate toys: in many cases, these are not to play, but to look, some are even too delicate to be left to the child ... In short, they are boring!
The game, a must for children
The child needs the game almost as much as the feeding. It is the vehicle through which he travels in micro-worlds that represent the universe in which he will walk as an adult tomorrow. The game is the experimentation laboratory of that future.
When the child plays, he processes the information that he receives from his senses - thus contributing to his maturation -; he rehearses about body control, learns to use his body, to coordinate his movements, to conquer balance; train the manual skill.
Playing learn the difference between pleasant and unpleasant situations; develops the ability to communicate; learn to talk; exercises memory; discover spatial, temporal and cause-effect relationships; it is offered free to creativity. And even more, while playing, the child learns to know himself and to understand others; learn to give and to receive; to win and lose; to submit to established rules of behavior; to consider problems and solve them.
All the above skills can be developed with very expensive toys, very cheap, even with toys that are not toys ... In short, the important thing is not the object itself. Remember that the child likes to invent, model and create their own toy. This is the case of the expensive electric train that becomes - in the father's despair - a game of experimentation. Or the well-known box that only served to keep a gift that is transformed by our son, like the pumpkin of Cinderella, in a Formula 1 car in a matter of seconds.
To choose a toy, a good resource is to take the child to the toy stores and look at their eyes and observe their reactions. There are places that allow the manipulation of these, offering an excellent opportunity to children and parents.
Toy libraries to continue playing
Another alternative is the toy libraries. In 1960 UNESCO He devised the creation of "public establishments for the classification and conservation of toys under loan regime". In these stores we can advise on the different offers of the market and the most suitable toys for the children. There is even the possibility of being able to take the toy home for a few days to prove it.
What should a toy bring?
- Provide new values to the natural and innate ability of children's game.
- Adapt to the motor and temperamental needs of the child.
- Be ingenious, stimulate fantasy, imagination and creativity.
- Move to action, that is, provoke the active participation of the child in the game.
- Have a solid and careful construction to avoid risks.
- Its price must be proportionate to the values it brings.
Sensory capacity, stimulation through the toy
The boy he knows the world through his senses, of their perceptions: look, listen, feel through touch, catch, release, feel, suck, bite ... The toys that help the development of this capacity are, for example: three-dimensional mobiles, mirrors, observation sheets, toys of contrasting colors; gloves and socks, bells of different shades, sound puppets, hearing discrimination games, musical instruments (quality), song tapes - in different languages -; dolls and objects of different textures, tactile gloves, crib gyms; teethers with different textures and temperatures; memory games olfactory, visual and tactile ...
Psychomotor ability to develop with toys
With this type of toys, the child acquires new movements and perfects the ones he already had. This is helped by all those who promote global control of body movements: climb down, push, run, jump.
For example, vdrag and push vehicles, cars to assemble, cart to transport objects, swings tricycles, unicycles, skates, balls of all sizes -giants for babies-, rubber rollers, scooters, bicycles, stilts, skateboards, trampolines, basket, skittles, jump ropes, ski ...
There are other movements that require greater concentration. They are the handicrafts that require precision and skill: fit, stack, build, sew, embroider, etc. For example: stackable toys, laces, containers, hoops, small objects, puzzles, tangram, puzzles, sewing games, open / close, put / take out, twist / unscrew, darts and darts target -spike point-, scissors, pegs, meccano, loom, clay, plasticine, pyrograph, finger puppets, costume paintings, finger painting and all graphic arts materials.
Cognitive abilities, stimulation through toys
They are the toys that help us boost the child's attention, their memory, creativity, imagination, expression and language, spatial organization, differentiation of concepts, shapes, colors and sizes. For example: toys cause-effect, of differences and similarities, of memory (memory), quantities and forms, scientific, electronic questions and answers, of association, of logics, books -all the literary varieties- dominoes, chess, stories, poetry, songs , printing, abacus, blackboards, computer, animal and vegetable classification manuals, ant farm, etc.
Social and emotional capacities
They are toys that should enhance the learning of social rules, communication and participation. For example, stuffed animals, baby dolls, dolls accessories and dresses, articulated dolls, kitchens, houses, toilets and other toys that imitate elements of daily life, cabins, dollhouses, board games (parchís, dominoes, letters), costumes , medical team and all of imitations of professions and trades. We include here all the toys that involve norms, for example, games with balls, soccer, basketball ...
Monica Larruy Baeza
Advice:Teisa Dalmau Xiqués Psychopedagogical Advisor of Instució Familiar d'Educació