Experts reveal just how important it is to pick toys at Christmas which will not only keep your children entertained but to also aid their development.

Plus, to ensure the toys which you give are focused purely on what your child enjoys rather than their gender.

We’re all eager at Christmas to give toys which we know our children will love, which sometimes means we’re guilty of Googling the ‘coolest toy’ and going with that.

UK online discount code website, Voucher Angels, recently carried out a study speaking with experts in the field to discover just how important child’s play is. Plus, why more parents should be conscious of giving toys not just purely focused upon their gender.

Shane Furstenberg from The BabyPillars Team, shared with us which toys parents should purchase if they want to aid their child’s development.

‘’From 1-3 years of age – Small children prefer to play with their parents. 

Our ideas are simply more intriguing, surprising and exciting.

Parents help toddlers save the story, extend their concentration, adapt their brain a little more, and solve problems creatively.’’

If you have a young toddler, a great idea is to discover toys which will allow you as a parent to interact with your child. Not only will this strengthen your bond, but it will also help young children to problem solve and aid their brains concentration development.

Shane also discussed toy ideas for slightly older children

‘‘Around the age of three children become increasingly skilled in imagination games and scripts become richer and more detailed.

They are now able to play with other children, but still invite parents to a common game often. You may find that the little ones are quite demanding during the game, and tell you exactly what to do and how.’’

A clever idea for children in this age bracket is to focus on purchasing toys which allow your children to be more imaginative, and creative, plus, to involve playing and sharing with other children.

Interestingly, Anna Seawald, Founder of Authentic Parenting, discusses the importance of not buying too many toys for children around this age.

‘‘When it comes to toys, the principle is less being more.

The less toys children have the better engagement they have with them, they have time to explore the small number of toys they have, and their play becomes more focused, meaningful and lasts longer.

When it comes to investing in toys, consider this. Will it grow with my child? Can my child play in many ways with this toy?

Playthings that promote open-ended play, that foster creativity and imagination. And, these kinds of toys are usually gender neutral. Which will allow children to come together, engage and collaborate more with the toys which they have.’’

Chris Kernes, Family Therapist, discussed with us how beneficial it is for kids to pick their toys.

‘‘Kids should be given an opportunity, and allowed access, to play with toys they want.

Research suggests that if we remove gender-specific label on toys, it helps reduce gender stereotypes.

When children are given the opportunity to explore and play with the toy of their choice without hesitation and judgement, they can express themselves freely.’’

Top 10 Toys Which Promote Development and Imagination according to experts.

  1. Puzzles
  2. Art Supplies
  3. Dress-Up
  4. Animal Figurines
  5. Musical Instruments
  6. Interactive Books
  7. Traditional toys – blocks, dolls, cars and trains.
  8. Board games
  9. Physical toys – like the hoola-hoop
  10. Painting sets

Voucher Angels are also asking the public what their favourite toy as a child was, to celebrate children enjoying toys for toys, rather than their gender specific labels.

Share your toy story with Voucher Angels over on their Twitter using hashtag #mytoystory.