What Your Child Learns from Play

Toy Shopping Tips

The next time you're feeling overwhelmed at the toy store, remember this advice from Stevanne Auerbach, PhD, author of Smart Play Smart Toys: How to Raise a Child with a High PQ. [play quotient]

  • Think sensory. Bright colors stimulate vision; rattles make an interesting noise.
  • Stock the basics. Every child should have a puppet, a rattle, a doll, and something with wheels, either a truck or a push toy.
  • Consider age-appropriateness. Yes, your baby boy will love a train set. But wait until he's old enough so that the parts don't pose a hazard.
  • Beware of one-trick ponies. You press a button and the toy makes noise. Within seconds, your child is on to something else. Instead, think of open-ended toys such as blocks, Play-Doh, or string beads.

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