Last week was my daughter, Rosa's, birthday. I love shopping for children's toys and I am always on the lookout for toys that will help develop my children's creativity and imagination. Research studies have shown that high school seniors and college students who score high in creativity do better academically.
According to an article titled "Fostering Creativity" in Child magazine, "Creative play is the foundation of critical thinking, of making life meaningful. It is essential to child growth and development, and we're interfering with it in ways that are incredibly worrisome." This article and other books I have read make the point that push button electronic toys marketed as "smart toys" may actually be doing more harm than good. A child who plays with only push button electronic toys is not developing creativity. Instead, these types of toys are teaching children to become passive absorbers.
We have a few push button electronic toys in our house that were given to us. I don't believe having a few of these types of toys around is harmful as long as the majority of your toys don't fall into this category. I have found that my children quickly loose interest in the electronic toys anyway and they basically just sit on our shelves. The toys which are played with the most in our home have been building blocks, legos, k'nex, lincoln logs, playmobil toys, dolls with their clothes and accessories, a wooden train set, a play kitchen, and other imaginative and building toys.
I found a wonderful wooden castle for Rosa's birthday priced under $65 with free shipping through Amazon.com. Both of my children love playmobil toys and my son has a playmobil castle. Rosa has been wanting a castle of her own and the playmobil magic castle is around $140 which was more than we wanted to spend. I had also read in reviews that the Playmobil castle comes apart easily and we have had this problem with our son's playmobil castle. The castle in the pictures above is a Melissa and Doug castle and it was a wonderful deal. All of Rosa's playmobil figures and furniture fit in the castle and it is very sturdy and well made. I was really excited to get it for less than $65 because it costs $99 at Target. If your little girl or boy is wanting a castle for birthday or Christmas, then I highly recommend the Melissa and Doug castles. They have a similar castle for boys. Over the next month or so I will be sharing some of our other favorite toys that help develop creativity and imagination.
"Fostering Creativity," Child, September 2006, p. 68
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