Written By Alise Curran, M. Ed.
When it comes to children's toys, the possibilities seem boundless. As parents, we find ourselves constantly bombarded with advertisements for the latest, shiniest, and yes, even the loudest toys on the market (have they actually become louder, or is it just my imagination?). As a mother deeply involved in the early childhood education field, I have realized the increasing importance of being deliberate in choosing the toys and play structures that enter my home. In fact, I firmly believe that less is indeed more. However, it is crucial to approach toy selection with intentionality.
Above all, the primary criterion for choosing toys for our children should be their ability to foster imaginative play and open-ended exploration. By opting for such toys, we provide them with the means to create, problem-solve, and delve into a multitude of experiences. Among the timeless classics are playhouses, which offer an endless array of play scenarios and invaluable learning opportunities. Picture this: One day, the playhouse transforms into a bustling kitchen, where little ones can take orders, manage inventory, and prepare and serve delightful meals. The following day, it morphs into an imaginative treehouse, igniting their excitement for an upcoming camping adventure. In both scenarios, children hone their communication skills, explore the depths of their creativity, and refine their problem-solving abilities.
But wait, there's more! Embracing a more intentional approach to curating the toys that make the cut and find their way into our homes brings an added bonus—less cleanup and clutter! By introducing toys and play structures that lend themselves to open-ended play, we simultaneously extend unstructured playtime and cultivate vital skills crucial for children's future success.
So, let us embark on this journey of thoughtfulness and purposeful toy selection, where we empower our children to expand their horizons, ignite their imaginations, and equip them with the tools they need to thrive in the world. After all, the impact of intentional play cannot be overstated.
Alise Curran, M.Ed., is a dedicated mother, wife, seasoned early childhood educator, and accomplished author. Her debut book, "Nana Will Say Yes," was published in November 2022, captivating readers with its heartwarming story. To delve deeper into Alise's world or establish a connection, visit her website at www.alisecurran.com or join her on Instagram for updates and insights: @alisecurranwrites.