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Give the Kids on Your Holiday Gift Lists Real Toys, Not Hypnotic Digital ‘Screens,’ says AMAC

kids gifts holiday digital screensWASHINGTON, DC – The so-called hot gifts for younger kids this holiday season may be digital, but the American Academy of Pediatrics [AAP] suggest you give them the gifts of imagination and physical fitness.

“In other words,” says Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC], “give them old-fashioned toys that will stimulate their minds and, as the AAP put it in a new clinical report, seek out toys that ‘facilitate warm, supportive interactions and relationships’.”

Simple games, puzzles and building blocks, for example, offer benefits for children under 5 years of age that electronic playthings cannot provide. The report points out that “electronic toys by themselves do not provide children with the interaction and parental engagement that is critical to healthy development.”

The co-author of the report, Dr. Alan Mendelsohn, says that the younger boys and girls on your holiday gift list need gifts that stimulate interaction with their parents, siblings and friends. “You just don’t reap the same rewards from a tablet or screen. And when children play with parents, the real magic happens, whether they are pretending with toy characters or building blocks or puzzles together.”

Weber says that too many adults fall for ads touting the educational value of computers and video games. “Indeed, the AAP says that limited use of such devices, under parental supervision, may have some value but they do nothing to fuel their imaginations. Unfortunately, younger children these days spend too much time staring at screens. AAP guidelines suggest that kids under two years old should not be playing with electronic devices at all and that the use of such devices by kids between the ages of two and five should be limited to one hour or less.”

To fuel a child’s imagination the AAP recommends toys such as dolls, action figures, cars, make-believe cooking and/or feeding utensils. The Academy says that blocks, shapes, puzzles, trains help stimulate motor skills. And, card games, alphabet based playthings, and board games stimulate motor skills and help them conceptualize.

AMAC’s Weber says that holiday gifts for young boys and girls on your lists should also allow them to “get physical” by requiring them to exert themselves. “It’ll help keep them slim and trim and aid physical development. So don’t forget to buy them balls, tricycles and push toys. Not only will these types of toys help keep them fit, they help kids learn how to socialize. In other words, give them real toys, not hypnotic digital screens.”

ABOUT AMAC

The Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] [https://www.amac.us] is a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members.  We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today.  Live long and make a difference by joining us today at https://amac.us/join-amac.

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Glenn Lego

Often the kids prefer to play with the package the toys came in rather than the toys themselves.

Marsha Cook

I wish more parents in today’s world would realize the importance of interactive toys rather than electronic devices. I believe kids need the social aspects of real people and not just texting and social media. We recently asked a group of 12-13 year old girls if they prefer actual phone conversations or texting. Their response was overwhelmingly texting! I think that’s a sad scenario.
I agree with P Triplett…this article was definitely enlightening. I wish I could persuade my grandchildren to spend less time on electronics.

Kim

My kids were little when WalkMan and early computer games were coming on the market. Although the ex was a computer specialist, we agreed that the children would not spend hour after hour facing a screen or sitting between earphones. Living outside Washington, D.C., it was easy to hop on mass transit and walk around that pretty city, and go to all the free (thank you, taxpayers) museums. I miss that! After we separated, the kids and I packed some food, put the dog in the back of the car, and just headed out. Anywhere. No destination in mind…just exploring. We had “real” maps (some people can’t even read maps anymore!), and I pulled over whenever they wanted to see something. We came upon battlefields, local attractions, parades, botanical gardens, car shows, and a crystal-clear frozen pond with ice crystals falling from the sky (with the Lipton chicken noodle soup… Read more »

P Triplett

This was very enlightening.