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Choose the Best Toys for Your Childs Brain Development!
By Deborah McNelis, Owner/ braininsights, LLC

You are busy right?  As a parent there is always so much to do… and so much to know.  In the midst of all you have going on your goal is to provide the best for your child.  You probably have heard about how important the early years are for your child’s brain development. … but may be unsure of what is best.

Deborah McNelis

When parent or grandparents ask for advice, My response always is, “Loving interaction and play with real  people and objects is what a developing brain needs most.”   Too often parents get the message that flashing electronic toys or DVD’s are good for brain development.  However, when children have the chance to use multiple senses, have fun interacting directly with you, or  have opportunities to create and manipulate objects with their hands this provides optimal opportunities for strong brain connections.

In relation to this, a report made available by the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child states the following:

“Although a varied array of experiences clearly stimulates learning in the preschool years, promotional statements about the superior brain building impacts of expensive “educational” toys and videos for infants and toddlers have no scientific support.”  

So I recommend instead of electronic gadgets and programs, when looking for toys that are best for children look for ones that do any or all of the following:

  • Provides an opportunity for direct interaction and manipulation
  • Gives a child a chance to develop something with their hands
  • Offers a variety of ways of using the toy or objects
  •  Sparks imagination and creativity
  •  Allows the child to repeat a process
  • Promotes physical activity

Examples are: Puzzles, building blocks, building sets, crayons, balls, paints, play dough, dolls, trucks and cars, shape sorters,  sand toys, bean bags, nesting cups, pretend play sets, water toys, and books!

Opportunities to just play, create , explore, and manipulate objects provides the best opportunities for developing the higher thinking areas of the brain. When these activities are driven by a child’s own interests this is when you will almost be able to see brain connections being made!

Have fun!

* Special Tip: You can also get additional brain information and a daily brain fact at http://braininsights.blogspot.com

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As an Early Brain Development Specialist and the award winning author of, The Brain Development Series. She has been seen in several national publications and receives rave reviews for her presentations throughout the country. Her goal through this work is for everyone to gain an understanding of early brain development, it’s impact, and the ways we can all easily make a difference.

Learn more about this article's author, Deborah McNelis.

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