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TWU professor says toys don’t have to be expensive to
stimulate child’s imagination
With the holidays approaching and the economy slowing, parents
can choose simple gifts that inspire their child’s imagination
without making a dent in their wallet.
Dr. Ron Fannin,
associate professor of family sciences at Texas Woman’s
University, says that instead of considering the most expensive
or elaborate gift for their child, a better question for parents
is what toy will hold the child’s interest.
who invest a lot of money, time and thought into choosing
gifts for their child often find themselves frustrated when
the child plays with the box the present came in rather than
the gift itself,” he said. “When children are
doing these things, such as pretending a box is a rocket ship
or a car, they’re projecting what they want to have
going on in their lives.”
Dr. Fannin said
that in particular, small children enjoy both physical and
imaginary involvement with their toys.
be chosen with an eye toward stimulating the child’s
imagination,” he said. “Because of this, sometimes
the toy with the fewer bells and whistles is more engaging.
The simple toy requires the child to involve himself or herself
more fully into the play experience. This is a very good thing.”
Many of today’s toys don’t require much of the
children playing with them, Dr. Fannin added.
we’re caught by our own technology. The toys do everything
— we just watch,” he said. “As adults, we
buy toys all the time. Ours are just more expensive and less
involved. If a child has a toy, he wants to use it.”
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