The Co-Founders of Click-A-Brick have thrown their support behind a child development expert who says parents may want to eschew the most trendy and popular gifts this year in favor of educational gifts that will help with a child’s development.
Although many popular toys nowadays are either collectibles or are based on the latest Hollywood blockbuster to come out in the previous year, University of South Carolina Early Childhood Education Associate Professor Angela Baum suggests parents consider how a toy will help their children developmentally and choose toys based on that rather than feeling pressured into just buying what’s popular.
In a news story on Live 5 News, Baum suggested toys like building blocks, Lincoln Logs and puzzles that allow children to think, use their imagination and interact with other children while playing. She added that books are a great gift because they also allow children to use their imaginations.
"We sometimes feel pressure, 'I have to buy my child the trendiest toy that everyone wants this season,' and sometimes those are very expensive,” Baum said. “But children can have a lot of fun with toys that don't cost quite as much. And so I don't think we need to get caught in that trap of what's the fanciest most popular toy out there at the time."
Click-A-Brick Co-Founder Jason Smith says Baum’s words ring especially true this year, with one of the biggest movie franchises of all time leaping back onto the big screen and many old toys reinventing themselves with new technological capabilities, consequently rendering them more expensive.
“We agree with Angela’s statements both from a childhood development angle and a financial angle for parents,” Smith said. “Modern toys, especially ones associated with the major movie franchises can be prohibitively expensive for parents and many of them, while they are often flashy and kids want them because they’re drawn in by the advertising, may not always be the most helpful gift for your child’s development. Not everything a parent buys for their child has to be geared toward making them a smarter person, obviously, but we believe there should be a balance between frivolous gifts that are purely for entertainment and educational gifts that will actually help children with their development.”
Some years, Smith says, parents kind of luck out and the most popular gifts are also educational in nature. That perfect storm has occurred this year, as Lego has found a spot in the lists of top toys Americans plan to buy for boys and girls this year, according to the National Retail Federation. However, he adds, Lego’s popularity has also driven up its prices, putting it out of the price range for many parents who find the holiday season to be an especially trying time of year financially.
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