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How many toys your kid really needs?

Few years ago, I visited one of my distant relative when I just got married and could see the whole house with all kind of plastic non reusable small blocks of toys which can make anyone stumble over them and can cause any harm. I convinced myself that this would not be in my case. There would be no stacking of toys in my house. But (sighing), all this was difficult for me to avoid once I became a Parent.
All parents would agree!! If not, then bless the little child who is a saint in disguise!!
With each passing day, the demand for toys increases. And now I have understood why every new month, I can see the new toy shop around (the demand increases and so does the supply). This concept which seemed too difficult for me when I was studying economics in my school seemed so relevant and easy understood when I became a mother when the demand comes from the house itself.
I thought to retrench the toy collection by carefully and precisely selecting each toy my son wanted which included some wooden blocks, some cars and puzzles. Even so, I always used to see him playing in the kitchen, wanted to make chapatis for me, playing with glasses. Every other day, he wanted another toy which he doesn’t have and used to make me run to the toy shop to buy it. This has made me more curious to know as what all toys are must for the kids of this age (P.S: I am here referring to my son’s age 3-4). According to the research, children need to play but it does not mean that they require toys. Children will explore their environment and will choose their articles which could be anything ranging from pots to pans. If I say it in other words, children need something or somebody to play with, it doesn’t have to be toys.
It does not mean that we should not provide toys to our children because what it seems to us the non-usable plastic or wooden stuff, it can prove beneficial to kids too. So here is the list of carefully selected toys which can prove useful and helps in the overall development of the child.
1. Wooden blocks: It is one of the important toys to improve the motor skills. These toys are well made and can last for years. Make sure that the child is playing under your vigilance because it can prove hazardous if they try to take it into their mouth. It also helps to develop the spatial and cognitive skills like stacking them, forming the lines and counting them. It also helps in improving the hand eye co-ordination.
2. Role playing toys: These toys are important as it helps in the language development. It is important as a parent to know what their child wants to be or talk about it. It could be anything like a dollhouse, kitchen set, a doctor set, or a tool kit. These toys might seem useless when it comes to keeping them back after accumulating from the mess your child creates at home, but it helps them to think and use their imagination to help them form sentences.
3. Balls: It comes in various sizes and I would advice that the child should have at least one because it is one and the first step towards gross motor skills development. Once the child starts holding the ball, he will be able to throw and use hands, legs and eye in coordination which is very useful for any outdoor sports.
4. Art supplies: The child needs things to create with. It could be anything, a piece of paper, large and small crayons, markers, chalkboards with different colored chalks to enable them to write, clay and play dough for them to create different shapes. When it come to creativity, the possibilities are endless. In order to foster creativity, we as a parent should provide lots of art time so that the kids can create whatever they want.
5. Puzzles: Look for the toys that helps in enhancing their problem-solving techniques. It could be blocks that snap together, arranging in colors, patterns and shapes. It could be sorting of the objects or things with buckles, buttons or strings.
But the question stills prevail “How many toys are needed for overall development?”. As the children grow, so does their relationship with the toys. When they are babies, they want people around them to play with, they can be exploring things with their mouth and hands at that time. When they become toddlers, they are more interested to explore different objects around. We as a parent must ensure that we give them different toys like blocks, doctor set to foster their imagination. As the child turns three, they have short concentration span and can sit themselves with one toy for some time and then the other. According to the recent study, there is no such number as to how many toys are needed, if the environment has less toys, it is sure that the child plays for a longer duration of time. It is our duty to gravitate the child towards the toy which allows them to focus and play more creatively.
With all this information that I have provided, I will still try to maintain the decorum and will not let my little monster convert my living room into the toy room. I can only keep trying and so can you!!
Do let me know if I have missed any of the toys that you think your child might need and keep sharing.
Happy parenting!!

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