Our children live in a world of over stimulation. Everywhere you go there is a TV (try and find a family restaurant that does not have one!), any kind of music is at our fingertips, you can watch a movie or play a game at the touch of a button. No set up, no wait time needed. Even games I played as a kid can be found with a electronic element. Life was my favorite. I liked spinning the wheel. I do not like the new version with the "credit card machine". I have an unwritten rule in the classroom and when my kids were under 3, if it required batteries or needs to be charged it I will not or did not buy it! Children need experiences to be successful.
Advertising and social media are wonderful at making you think your child needs these educational electronics, ipads, certain apps etc. to be successfull. They in fact do not! I repeat they DO NOT! Those mentioned above, for the most part, target memory. They do not work on the overall skills children today need for success. Maggie Fox states in the above article, “These skills are only one part of school readiness. The skills young children really need to learn for success in school (and life) include impulse control, managing emotions, and creative, flexible thinking. These are best learned through unstructured and social play with family and friends.”
So what should you buy?
- blocks (today they come in all different shapes, textures, sizes etc. Here are two that I like.
- baby dolls
- puzzles (large floor and small wooden)
- coloring books, crayons, scissorys, tape (kids LOVE tape)
- board games (Candyland, Connect 4, Sequence for Kids, Go Find It) Here are a couple great games that promote fine motor for 3-5 year olds.
- sticker books
- musical insturments
Remember the best gift you can give children is you. Your time, your attention and your love.