I'm sure many of you parents out there have had several weeks (if not months) of your children making lists of what gifts they want for the holidays. With so many toys, games, and electronics on the market, kids are often barraged by messages of the latest, greatest toy that they must have. Of course, parents want to get gifts their children will enjoy, but it's also important to consider whether the toy is developmentally appropriate for their age. Many toys are labeled with an age range, which is helpful, but I know I still need more guidance when considering what to buy. Just because something is age-appropriate doesn't mean it is ideal or offers any educational or developmental benefits. Here are a list of several resources I found helpful when considering toys:
Education.com Gift Guide 2010
LSU Extension Service: Developmentally Appropriate Toys
Tumblon Toy Suggestions and Reviews for ages newborn to 6+
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC): Good Toys for Young Children
Dr. Toy: Gift Guides
Have you noticed that kids' toys are often based on movie or cartoon characters? I know kids love cartoons, but I really want my son to have toys (at least some) that aren't character-related. The Center on Media and Child Health has some really helpful resources to address this issue, as well ideas for how to bring up this topic with toy-buying family members. They also have great ideas for meaningful handmade gifts.
Center on Media and Child Health: Gift Guides (both media-related and non-media)
I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season! Thanks for reading The Thoughtful Parent this year.