Many parents worry about the educational value of their children’s toys. Trying to maximize their kids’ experience, some parents seize on new toys, literally wrenching a child’s favorite toy away because it may be not challenging enough. To these parents, we say: relax.
It can be difficult to judge how beneficial a toy is, but rather than taking toys away, consider bringing newer ones into the mix. Toys are favorites because they are serving some purpose – perhaps it is a comfort, or reminiscent of a trusted relative.
Adding new toys into the mix brings challenge. Don’t worry about how your child’s interests or “skill levels” match what the guide books say; in truth, child development is highly variable and complex. By observing what your child enjoys, and also what is boring, you can bring new toys in that provide the right blend of entertainment and challenge.
Micro-managing a child’s toys will just lead to confusion. The best thing to do is take cues and respond, a little at a time.