Please welcome Dr. Patricia Bast as our guest blogger.
If you go into any toy store today you will find the shelves are filled with colorful plastic toys. Toys that play songs, make elaborate sounds and do fancy tricks. One-and-done toys. However, the best toys for your child’s development are the simple ones. Open-ended toys. For example: wooden blocks can be built into a tower, designed as a castle, dumped from a truck or imagined to be food for toy animals. In fact, research has found wooden toys to be the best investment for your playroom; what they cost in money they make up for in life long value.
1. Open ended play fosters imagination, independence and extends attention spans. On the contrary, plastic toys with lights and sounds actually interfere with the brain waves of children, shortening their attention span and inhibiting the full imagination process. Yes, you read that correctly, the noisy electronics our children play with will may be making it harder for them to focus.
2. Quality wooden toys are made with natural woods safe for young teething infants through adults. Plus, wood is naturally anti-bacterial and easily maintained by sanding should rough edges appear. Contrast that to the painted synthetic plastics that are not intended to be savored in the mouths of curious babies.
3. Well made wooden toys exude quality that withstands years of use to be passed on to later generations. No more replacing that plastic shape sorter or toy cars every year because your toddler broke them!
4. Without the ingredient of mystery plastics, there is no danger of lead poisoning like many toys. Yes, even children who are not teething are at risk of lead poisoning through skin absorption. Why risk it? Stick to toys that keep your child safer.
5. Last, but not least, wooden toys are gorgeous to look at! Can I get a high five for no more tacky plastic pieces scattered across the floor?!
I am a physician, blogger, wife, and mother to two beautiful boys. I have always had a love for children and a fascination for medicine. Now that I am a mother, I understand better than ever the challenges faced by new parents so during my first pregnancy I started the AskDoctorMommy.com website with the purpose to give parents a physician’s perspective on raising children.