Old-Fashioned Toys Beat Out iPads For Children’s Development
The flashy and new did not win. When it comes to the development of children, old-fashioned toys like building blocks and crayons are more educational than electronic games or apps, according to NBC News.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, playing with traditional toys help develop fine motor skills, social skills, and problem solving and critical thinking.
Why? Because these toys actually require the child to interact with them instead of providing little engagement. They also help develop critical development skills both physically and mentally.
When it comes to a child’s motor skills, using crayons, makers, clay and paint all help develop the muscles in the hand that allow kids to properly hold pens and pencils. It also helps build creativity and encourage innovative thinking.
Toys like Legos, building blocks, puzzles and trains are a large part in the development of fine motor skills, too. Playing with these toys also helps the brain develop language and early math skills.
Speaking of language, social play time and interaction with other kids and even adults is crucial to the development of children. Kids need to develop social skills through play time and learn how to make eye contact, communicate effectively, and develop their vocabulary through engaging in speech.
Bringing in toys like pretend food, tea sets, action figures and dolls help to mimic real-life situations. These toys help kids learn how to use their imagination, and also play a part in emotional skills like self-soothing and keeping one’s self occupied.
Although apps and electronic games can be fun for kids, pediatricians say children need to learn these basic skills through traditional methods because they still work the best.
Apps provide no motor skills engagement, eliminate social interaction, and allow for the entire learning process to be silent and free of language use.
As a result kids are becoming anti-social and developing delayed speech or speech impediments. They also are failing to develop the fine motor skills in their hands required to hold objects like pens, and are also not learning how to self soothe or develop facial expressions.
Doctors say it’s critical parents do not fall for marketing gimmicks that sell electronic games through the idea they are educational or crucial for a child’s growth.
For kids who do have smart phones or gaming devices, doctors say screen time should be monitored and limited to an hour a day or less for kids over 2 years of age, and not allowed at all for kids under 2 years old.