The “wrong” and the “right” toys for building your child’s brain

Posted at 3:15 PM, Dec 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-15 17:21:45-05

The 'Wrong' Toys and the 'Right' Toys for Building Your child`s Brain

Today, most kids gravitate to electronic devices, phones, and items that actually restrict movement-based exercises. While many of these games and toys are fun for kids and do provide some educational foundation, they still don`t provide the necessary building blocks most children need to enhance their development and brain-building activity for higher learning.

Recent studies have shown millennials today have weaker hand grip than older generations. Kids that have grown up in the digital age and the rising generations have weaker fine motor skills and struggle more with pencil grip and handwriting because they are constantly swiping and tapping instead of using their fingers, hands, wrists and elbows for writing in the classroom.

Many children with learning challenges tend to have the following signs:

• Poor Fine Motor Development
• Lack of balance, coordination, attention and focus
• Emotional grounding issues
• Lack of social skills and appropriate social behaviors
• Expressive language and communication issues

Some games like Minecraft and fun educational apps on phones, tablets, and kindles are good for problem-solving and critical thinking skills, but too often children spend hours playing these games, which prevent them from building their gross motor skills and core muscle needed for important tasks in the classroom like copying notes from the chalkboard, sitting still at their desk, listening to the teacher and retaining facts and details.

What toys should I try to avoid?

• Electronics: Video Games, Tablets, Smart Watches, STEM toys without movement
• Cars: Remote Control Cars, Power Wheel Trucks
• Dolls: Hatchimals, American Girl Dolls, Stuffed Animals
• Babies: Bumbo Floor Seat, Learning Walker, Light-up toys with no movement, baby cell phones

What toys are the best for my child`s learning development?

Gross Motor, Balance, and Coordination:

• Bicycles
• Scooters
• Tricycles
• Hot Wheels with pedals
• Throwing Balls
• Skateboards
• Bungee Jumper

• Twister or Mat-A-Matics

Proprioception, Sensory Integration, Vestibular:

• Child Wheelbarrow
• Child Vacuum
• Toy Work Bench
• Hanging Swings or Hammock Swings
• Floor scooter
• Floor Balance Beam

Fine Motor, Visual Perception, Hand-eye Coordination, Auditory:

• Perplexus
• Monster Bowling Game
• Bean Bags
• Memory Games
• MagnaTiles
• Beads and Thread
• Figure 8 Train Track
• STEM Toys that require building


• Play Tunnel Toy Tent
• Octopus hoopla
• Textured Chewable Toys (tactile)

• Rolling Cars
• Blocks
• Sorting/Stacking Toys
• Banana Teether Toothbrush

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