It is no secret that toys play a leading role in children’s lives. In fact, play is not only the driving force behind the child’s physical activity but also a means of socialization and entertainment. It is precisely through play that the little one consolidates relationships with adults and, later, establishes their first relationships with other children. In addition, the game is able to promote positive emotions, stimulates creativity and communication and enhances thinking.
Most parents understand or intuit the importance of play for their children, so since they are babies, they buy toys with which they can have fun and learn. However, today there is a wide range of toys to choose from, including technological ones, so making the best decision is not always easy.
Interestingly, in recent times there has been a growing trend for parents to buy increasingly technological toys that have educational functions. No one doubts that there are many technological toys capable of enhancing the psychomotor development of children but parents should not forget that toys should not only educate but also entertain.
It is convenient, and even beneficial, that some toys are educational and enhance children’s abilities or even allow them to discover the world of science, but it must not be forgotten that the ultimate purpose of toys is to entertain, not to make the child learns certain contents, as if he were at school. Let us remember that each thing has its space and its age.
Faced with the hyper specialization of toys and their increasingly technological nature, there are many who claim that the toys of yesteryear were better, they are victims of a kind of nostalgia attack. However, there is no need to take extreme positions. The toys from before weren’t better or worse than they are now, just different.
There are toys that never go out of style and that are important for children to acquire certain milestones in their development, such as stacking blocks, balls or dragging games. However, the inclusion of some effects, thanks to technology, such as sound or lights, makes many of these toys more interesting and captures the child’s attention for longer.
The key lies in finding a middle ground, in not prioritizing eminently technological games over traditional toys and, above all, in betting on toys that favor interaction with others. For example, while board games like Ludo or checkers bring the family together, a video game can isolate the child.
In recent times, the importance of learning to handle money has become evident. It’s not just about knowing how to earn it but also about saving and investing it wisely. However, these are values that are learned from childhood, from the family economy. Teaching children to save and manage money is as important as boosting their Emotional Intelligence or taking them to school to learn. It is not about turning them into financial geniuses but about transmitting the basic notions so that in the future they can manage their own economy without difficulties.
Children learn by playing so you can use different board games, such as Monopoly and Trivial, to teach them how to handle money. You can also play any other game and award the winner with some coins. In this way the child will understand that to earn money it is necessary to make an effort and that it is essential to organize expenses or, otherwise, very soon his account will be in the red.
Another way to teach your child that money is hard to come by and that you have to work to earn it is to hire him to do some housework. Obviously, first you must make clear what your obligations as a member of the household are and what the additional activities will be. For example, cleaning the garden or running errands can be paid housework. You may not know very well what to do with the coins at first, but you will soon understand that if you collect them, you will be able to buy your favorite candy or a toy. This way you will learn to save to achieve a goal.
Second-hand sales and the sale season are a good opportunity to show your child all that he can achieve if he saves a little and moves away from conventional sales channels. Explain that quality and economy are not mutually exclusive and that with a little patience, he can get “good, pretty and cheap” items. This strategy will teach your child to be patient and wait for the right time to do the shopping.
If you are one of the people who receive discount coupons and you do not have much time to review them, you can entrust that task to your child to teach him to save on purchases. You can even ask them to separate and save coupons that are good for the week’s purchase. So, when you go to the supermarket, you can ask him to handle the coupons or ask him to look for products that have special prices for members of the store’s savings club. When you get home, show him your receipts and figure out how much you have saved thanks to his help.
Many families save to take a vacation trip, move house, or make a big purchase. However, most of the time children are excluded from these plans because they are very young. However, if you want your child to learn to save and know how to handle money, nothing better than giving him a share in family savings. You can ask him to contribute a small part of his weekly pay, from an economic point of view his contribution will be minimal but it will be very significant from a psychological point of view.