The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) wants parents of young children to keep a few things in mind when they’re shopping off their wish lists this holiday season.
Their research has shown that purchasing electronics in replacement of traditional hands on toys can negatively impact child development.
The AAP says the use of tablets, computers, television and video games should be limited to less than an hour a day for children two years or older and should be avoided altogether for kids younger than two years old.
These studies are showing that heavy use of electronics is interfering with speech and language development, leading to obesity and replacing play time with parents and friends.
Instead, they’re recommending simpler toys this holiday season that foster imagination and interaction with parents. Things like:
- Dolls, dollhouses, stuffed animals, action figures
- Puzzles, books, board games
- Trains, cars, planes, Building blocks
- Coloring books, crayons, clay, play-dough, stickers
- Tricycles, balls, pull toys, ride-on toys
AAP says there’s no pressure to introduce technology early. There are educational apps, but that’s only one part of school readiness. Additional skills young kids need to learn is creativity, flexible thinking, impulse control and social interactions with family and friends.