Need an Excuse to Ditch Your Most Hated Toys?
My mom friends and I love to talk about our toy recommendations—both recommendations on what to buy, and recommendations on which toys to lose, give away, or bury ASAP. The former tend to be the classics—wooden dollhouses, dress-up clothes, blocks that won’t make you curse if you step on them in the dark. There’s a pretty solid theme for the latter too, and it usually involves some combination of noise, lights, and screens. If it’s not a loud toy with a repetitive song that drives us wild, it’s the crabbiness and obsession that goes along with tablet use.
It turns out that the American Academy of Pediatricians has our backs. Its clinical report The Power of Play reveals that parents are often pressured by media to think that they need to expose children to electronics and technological toys in order to give them a heads-up in academics. In reality, the children with more exposure to technological toys had poorer language and lower cognitive skills than children who had more time with traditional toys.
All this makes complete sense, but it’s nice to know that our intuitive dislike of certain toys has some logic behind it—and maybe this report will help shape our families’ buying habits in the years to come, so we can stop pretending that we’re out of batteries.
—The AAP has released a new report called The Power of Play: A Pediatric Role in Enhancing Development in Young Children
—Although commercials tout the benefits of educational apps, evidence shows that traditional toys are better for children’s cognitive development.
—Problem-solving strategies from traditional play builds the foundation for success later in life.