Friday, November 6, 2009

Why Do Babies Like the Box Better than the Toy?

Have you given your child a gift and find they'd rather play with the wrapper and box? Sometimes the toy is cute and interesting to the adult, but developmentally, the child is more interested in the endless opportunities the box and wrapper offers them. They like to explore the paper by crunching it, throwing it, smoothing it out again, tearing it, crunching it again to make noise, etc. The box can become something to thow the paper in, to turn over and beat on, to put other toys in, and if large enough, to climb in!

Give a child an old pan and a wooden spoon (to save your ears) and see how many things they do with them. Stir some imaginary soup, band an imaginary drum, use it as a hat, and who knows what creative things they can do with it.

Too often, thoys are only one dimensional in terms of their use.  That is why Discovery Toys are great. Each toy is designed to be used in many different ways in many different stages of development.

If your child is four to six months old, they love to look (My Baby's World), graps (Baby Grooves), and bring objects to their mouths (Super Yummy), so be sure whatever you give them is safe to do that. As they get older they learn to move the object from one hand to another, turn the object over (Rainfall Rattle), poke and scratch at the object (Jangles), or give the object to someone else. They learn to hide the object under a blanket or towel.

As the child approaches two years of age, they will begin to "pretend" one object is something else - a block will become a phone or a car, a box will become a hat or a purse. Your child will also begin to solve problems with toys such as putting a cube into a hole (Caterpillar Shape Sorter), or stack cups (Measure Up Cups), or work simple puzzles (Progressive Puzzles).

Sometimes the least expensive objects are the best objects for a child because they can explore and use them in so many ways. A musical elephant will basically always be a musical elephant to a child who can only look and listen, but not be imaginative with it.

Check out all our toys at and see what pretend, imaginative play you child can have!

Cara Retz
Educational Leader

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