Research commissioned by Fisher- Price shows that 94% of mums believe that babies and toddlers learn best when they are having fun. The Childwise research of 1,515 UK mums, shows that despite the rise in smart technology, 2 in 3 mums still believe that playing with toys that encourage fun learning and laughter are best for their baby’s development.
A third of mums rank books highest for aiding development while only 2% favour TV or DVD’s, and only 1% tablets and touchscreens. Over three quarters of mums said that their baby is more engaged and plays with a toy for longer if it makes them laugh, with an equal number revealing that their child smiles and laughs more when playing with toys compared to smart devices.
When it comes to choosing toys for their little ones, 82% of mums put fun and learning top of the list with just 3% choosing high tech as one of their top three. Silly sounds in toys make babies and toddlers laugh the most according to the research, with movement and music coming in a close second and third.
TOP 5 TOY FEATURES THAT MAKE BABIES LAUGH
1. SILLY SOUNDS
5. FUNNY FACES
Kathleen Alfarno, Ph.D. Director of Child Research at Fisher-Price, comments “Laughter is a powerful, readily available way to boost mood and psychological well-being. Just think about how great you feel as an adult when you participate in something you really enjoy. That’s what play is all about for babies and toddlers. It’s about having fun. When babies play, they have fun; when babies have fun, they laugh. That’s what makes play worthwhile. In fact, they are having so much fun they don’t even realise they are learning.”
The research reveals that babies and toddlers spend an average of 3 hours and 25 minutes playing with toys every day, with toys most popular with younger babies and boys, while books appeal to older toddlers and girls.
James Davies, Managing Director of Childwise concludes, “There is a lot of pressure nowadays on parents to ensure their baby is at the ‘right’ stage of development, but as long as there is enough time in your baby’s day for play, then you will be giving them the opportunity to develop who they are and learn about the world around them at their own natural pace.”
TOP 10 FACTORS FOR MUMS WHEN CHOOSING TOYS
7. EASY STORAGE
8. EASE OF ASSEMBLY
What makes you buy a toy for your child? Do you spend hours reading the boxes and doing research online to see which toy encourages development or do you just go into a shop and see what you think will appeal to your child? With so much choice out there it is interesting to see what helps you to decide the perfect toy for your child or the perfect gift.