We all know how quickly bins, baskets and shelves can fill up with toys and books. If the sight

of all those toys seems overwhelming to you, think about how baby must feel! By not having as many toys available at one time, you will help to improve her play experience. 

 

Your baby will be able to focus on fewer toys for longer periods of time and is more likely to explore toys in different ways. Rotating, or changing the group of toys that are available for her helps to keep the play experience fresh and encourages creativity.  Older toys will be new again and will keep your baby excited about play!


Brain Science for Your Baby

 

Keeping your toddler's play area uncluttered can help with language.  A recent study found that when 18 month olds played with their parents where one toy was visually the center of attention, when the parents named the toy, the toddler learned the name more quickly than when there were lots of toys around (Yu, 2012). 

 

Playing with blocks can help with math.  One study showed that children who were better at playing with blocks in preschool did better in math in high school (Wolfgang, 2001). 

 

The benefit of rotating toys

A Baby Buffer Prescription for Your Baby
 

Start by organizing toys. You can organize by group (e.g., musical, pretend play, motor, books, building, puzzles, etc.) or by size or function. Choose whatever works best for you.

 

Get rid of broken toys or toys with missing pieces or parts.

 

Select one or two toys from each of your groups and put them in a bin, box or basket to create "a toy rotation bin". You can create as many toy rotation bins as you like.

 

You can rotate toy bins as often as you like. Good times to organize and rotate are after the winter holidays or baby's birthday. 

A baby Buffer Prescription for You       

 

Organizing and rotating your baby's toys can make playtime more exciting for baby and also for you!

 

We all get bored doing the same thing over and over. Pulling out a new toy can lift your spirits, which will have a positive effect on baby. So when the new toys come out, get creative, get excited and have fun playing with your baby.

 

If you are getting bored with the current rotation of toys, it's likely that your baby is getting bored too. That's your clue that it might be time to rotate!

 

Organizing doesn't have to be expensive. Get creative on what you use to store toys. Try to use items that you already have in your home. A clean empty box will work just fine. 

What Your Baby Can Do - Developmental Milestones 

 

Your one year old will be able to imitate what you do in his or her play!  Give her a dust rag and let her dust furniture, pots and pans with a spoon so that he or she can "cook", and your baby will be able to start practicing brushing teeth and doing other self care activities.  

Baby Buffer Blog
Greta McFarland, MD, FAAP, aka "Gene"

Selfishness: is your child ever self-absorbed? Well, we hope so, since that is in the "kid job-description" for the first 20 years. But learning to go from selfishness to selflessness doesn't just happen; it is an on-going, many-times-a day activity, where everyone has to give and take. So keep that selfish thought in mind while we explore two articles on habits and how they help families teach kids to go from being selfish to becoming selfless.

 

The first article was in the Journal of School Health where about 1000 5th-6th grade students' standardized test scores and family habits were analyzed.  The kids with the best test scores had the following habits: no bedroom TV, healthy weight, being physically fit, eating healthy foods with rare fast foods or sugar drinks, and getting over 8 hours of sleep. 

 

The second article in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that kids aged 10 to 14 who lived in homes with parents who had consistent rules for safety and had consequences and rewards for behaviors, were less likely to have sex at early ages, and they did better in school.  

 

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