Tips for Choosing Toys with Dr. Laura Waters

A Better You

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — It’s the holiday shopping season, and Dr. Waters has some tips on what to buy children to help with their learning and development.

Dr. Waters says “the more a toy does, the less your child has to, often becoming more entertaining than educational.”

So, she says chose toys that will help kids use their minds and bodies to make something work because that’s how they will learn the most, all while playing.

Dr. Waters tips:

Choose toys that can be used in a variety of ways
Ex) blocks, interlocking blocks, nesting cups or blocks, toys for, and water play.

Look for toys that will grow with your child
Plastic toy animals and action figures, dollhouses, trains and trucks, stuffed animals, dolls.

Select toys that encourage exploration and problem-solving
Ex) puzzles, shape-sorters, blocks, clay, paint, crayons, play-dough.

Look for toys that spark your child’s imagination
Ex) dress-up clothes, toy kitchen items, large boxes that can be used for a variety of things.

Give your child the chance to play with “real” stuff- or toys that look like the real thing.
Ex) kitchen items, keys, phones, dress-up, instruments, household items

Toss in some “getting ready to read” toys
Ex) books, magnetic alphabet letters, art supplies.

Seek out toys that encourage your child to be active
Ex) balls, trikes and bikes, pull toys, wagon.

Look for toys that nurture cross-generational play
Ex) board games.

More toy tips.

Toy Safety & Recalls: Consumer Product Safety Commission

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