It feels so strange to have summer over. Has anyone else been startled by the arrival of September?
Summer gives us opportunities to spend more time with our kids, and to watch them find ways to entertain themselves through the weeks they spend away from school. We love the relaxed vibe of summertime play. I love having time to watch how they play and what they choose to do all day long.
But is there more to play than meets the eye? We all know our kids are always learning, and that development is a continual process. So what’s actually going on? And how should it inform what we buy for our kids?
Fisher-Price has a cool new feature online called the Joy of Learning Playtime Guide. Have a look below and see all that goes into the design and selection of the toys you may be choosing for your child.
Impressive, right? As parents, seeing it all broken down is a good reminder to choose carefully when shopping for the toys our children will learn from and love.
When shopping for toys, there are a few factors I like to consider. First, and most important – will it interest my child or children? Does it seem, at first glance, like something that suits their interests and abilities? After that I look for quality in how a toy is made (oh, Lord, a toy that doesn’t work or breaks in the first few weeks is a heartbreaker.) I check for safety, I try to choose educational toys when possible and I love when I can pass a toy down from big brother to little sister.
I used to do much more of my shopping in person, and decide on the fly what to buy for my son when he was little, but that was a different time. I had more time, and just one young child who never knew what or when I was buying toys. And I had very little experience, so without knowing options I felt better being right in store to shop.
As my son grew older, and a second baby joined our family, toy shopping changed. I was far more experienced in my shopping and had seen how toys had fared with my son already. We had many toys to hand down from one child to another and had many good basics like blocks, vehicles, art supplies and ride-ons.
Now I shop online before buying to get ideas. I check store and brand websites, read toy guides and reviews and make lists of ideas before I shop. I even will order toys and gifts online to save time and help surprise my kids.
As you can see, with our recent move, toy shopping (and organization, and storage, and…and…and…) is a huge concern. I want to choose carefully as we add to this collection – we haven’t even unpacked or organized what we already own! On my list of things to do this week!
And here are a few questions for you:
How do you decide what toys to buy for your child or children? Do you use resources beforehand, or make decisions in-store?
Can you think of an example where your child or children have learned though play?
Can you think of any particular skills you actually noticed your child or children developing while they were playing?
I’d love to hear what all goes into your toy shopping!
Disclosure: I am a Fisher-Price Mom and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.