You’ve searched hard. You shopped at the crack of dawn to find the perfect electronic toy. You know the one. It was guaranteed to make your child ready for Harvard. He pressed a few buttons, danced to the music a few times and then played with “the box”.
Why? Because the toy did everything for your child. He pushed a button and heard music, or maybe the sound of the letter “B”, but then he was left with nothing. Nothing to create and little to discover.
Real learning comes from the young child’s ability to create and pretend. He must manipulate objects and ideas to make sense of them. He must test and re-test his theories about how things work. The empty box offered just that.
If you could tap into your child’s thinking as he plays with the box, this is what you might hear. “Is my floppy dog too big to fit in this box? Can I park my cars in here? If I put my blocks in and close the box, can I make a shaker? Wow! Look at what I can do!”
The holidays are coming soon, and the media will bombard you with “the best toys” . Save yourself the small fortune needed for the electronic toys. Choose something that can stimulate his thinking and his interactions with others. The National Association for the Education of Young Children offers some guidance on toys for children, ages birth-6 years that will help them learn. http://www.naeyc.org/ecp/resources/goodtoys
Here’s another learning opportunity; see what you and your child can create together with that same “box”. Enjoy your play!