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Did you know that bubbles, boxes and books are some of the best toys for your child? That's right - no batteries, flashing lights, or video screens necessary. Just simple, inexpensive (or even free!) items that you may even have lying around your house. For example, your 6 month old infant tracks the bubbles you are blowing over him using his eyes and squeals with delight when he reaches out and actually touches one. Those bubbles are helping build muscles. Your toddler will fill and dump a box full of, well, pretty much anything time and time again. He is learning about cause and effect, and that he can control parts of his environment. Your young child is stacking blocks or drawing and doesn't hear you call her to dinner. Is she ignoring you? Not necessarily. Actually, she is engrossed in her activity and expanding her ability to attend to a task, something she will need later in life to do things like finish a math test.
David Elkind tells us that play is the work of children. By providing your child with opportunities for free play with simple toys you are helping them to grow in all areas of development. Toys with bells and whistles and batteries are probably doing the work for your child.Toys that are open-ended and allow for more than one play scenario are the best.
Look around your house and see what you can find to reuse and recycle for fun crafts and activities. The library has many books on fun family crafts and games. Here are some books with ideas and links to recipes:
Give something new a try and let us know how it goes!
PLAY! READ!! GROW!!!