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I keep seeing award stickers on toy packages. If I buy a toy that has an award sticker on the box does that mean other similar toys are not as good? What guidelines can I follow for choosing a good toy?

Lauren, Miami, FL
Mom of Rachel (7), Sofi (6) and Naomi (2)
Use them as a guide and follow 3 easy steps before making a decision on what to buy?

1.Analyze: What does the child have already? (Stacks of board games, tubs of building blocks, shelves of books) Take a quick INVENTORY of your child’s collection and see if there is a type of toy missing from the playroom. A new kind of toy will trigger interest and intrigue once opened!
2.Simplify- Parents “think” kids need a lot of toys, then regret having so many around the house! It is best to have a variety of TOY TYPES, so a child uses a range of developmental skills.
3.Magnify: It is imperative that toys are chosen which are age-appropriate and are of interest to a child. Choose toys that "MAGNIFY’ a child’s current skills and challenges those they need to work on.


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Q&A Corner

Dear Marianne:
My husband and I have 2 daughters ages 3 and 5. They have so many toys and it's hard for me to get rid of them because so many of them are from family and friends but it's overwhelming! I think they have too many toys-do you have any suggestions of how many toys a kid plays with in a day and how many do they really need? I don't remember having so many toys as a child-just a few favorites. Then it's hard to get them to clean up b/c I think it
overwhelms them. What do you think?
Phil and Angie, Blue Springs, MO, parents of Marlee 5 and Jaimee 3

 

Most children don't need lots of toys.
It's better to have a variety that enhance different skills.
If you have too many (as many households probably do) box them up and reintroduce them every few weeks. Kids find this to be fun and exciting since to them it seems that they are getting new toys to play with,
With the girls so close in age that is good, but keep in mind safety concerns for the little one should her sister play with toys that may not be appropriate for her. At 3 and 4, they still have very different skill levels.


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