Forget high-tech or flashy games. Pediatricians suggest thinking inside the box for gifts for your youngster. As in just give little Oliver or Emma an empty box.
They say it inspires creativity.
“A cardboard box can be used to draw on, or made into a house,” Dr. Alan Mendelsohn, co-author of a new report on selecting toys for young children, told the Associated Press.
If that seems too spartan for a holiday gift, the report says the best toys for tots are old-fashioned hands-on playthings that young children can enjoy with parents—things like blocks or puzzles that spark imagination and creativity.
Many parents have the misconception that “the toy that is best is the one that is the most expensive or has the most bells and whistles or is the most technologically sophisticated,” said Mendelsohn, a pediatrician at NYU Langone Health in New York.
Simpler hands-on toys that parents and children under 5 can play with together are preferable for healthy development, he said.
The report, published recently by the American Academy of Pediatrics, cites studies suggesting that heavy use of electronic media may interfere with children's speech and language development, replace important playtime with parents and lead to obesity.