When it comes to toys, the simpler the better, the American Academy of Pediatrics says.
“Simple . . . really is better,” says Dr. Aleeya Healey, lead author of the academy’s report on the subject.
So the organization’s advice is to skip the flashing lights, digital readouts and cellphone apps in favor of toys that encourage kids to simply play, pretend and interact together, the researchers say.
The academy suggests:
- Recognize that one of the most important purposes of play with toys, especially in infancy, is not educational but to foster warm, supportive interactions and relationships.
- Choose toys that are not overstimulating.
- Use children’s books to develop ideas for pretend play.
- Be aware of the potential for toys to promote race- or gender-based stereotypes.
- Limit video game and computer game use to less than one hour per day for children 2 years or older. These devices should be avoided entirely among kids younger than 24 months.