Choosing toys that promote healthy play

Here is a nice resource I came across from Truce Teachers (pdf file).

From truceteachers.org:

“Our mission is to raise public awareness about the harmful influence of unhealthy children’s entertainment and to provide parents and educators with information about toys and activities that promote healthy play. We are working to eliminate marketing aimed at exploiting children and to reduce the sale of toys and entertainment that promote violence.”

On a related note, I wanted to address the issue of DVDs. At Pufferbellies, shoppers sometimes ask whether we carry “learning DVDs”. We don’t. I (Erin) feel pretty strongly that videos and DVDs, regardless of the content, don’t belong in our store. I don’t disapprove of TV and videos in all cases, and I do recognize that TV can sometimes be useful, fun and appropriate. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics officially recommends that children under the age of 2 not be exposed to any TV, period. Plus, DVDs and videos are readily available at all kinds of outlets. We try to provide toys that aren’t available at just any shop you happen to walk into. At Pufferbellies, you’ll find toys that children act on — not toys that children watch. A good toy is one that’s well-made, often one that’s appropriate for a variety of ages and developmental stages, and one that leaves the door open for a child’s natural inventiveness, imagination, and curiosity to bloom. That’s the kind of toy we try to stock, and we hope you’ll find lots to make you and your kids smile when you walk in our door.

(OK, in the interest of full disclosure, we also like extremely silly stuff.)

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