Simply Play

The world is filled with an abundance of electronic gadgets that are specifically designed to spark and hold our attention. It can be overwhelming for adults, but even more overwhelming for children’s growing minds.

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises us to limit media use to encourage children more time to play, study, talk or sleep. It turns out that traditional toys, such as dolls, puzzles, books and blocks are optimal in helping children meet these guidelines as they grow and develop. Traditional toys require children to creatively engage, inspiring their imagination with an endless array of open-ended scenarios. Classic toys allow opportunities for children to engage with others, providing experiences to learn social skills like sharing and turn-taking, whereas electronic games are often more solitary in nature.

Multiple studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association illustrate that traditional toys promote language development in younger children because they encourage more meaningful conversations. So, put down the phone, power down the video game and build screen-free times into each day to become more engaged in the simplicity of life and toys.

Holly Keich, LSW, is the owner of Om Baby Pregnancy & Parenting Center, located at 2201 Market St., Rear, in Camp Hill. For more information, call 717-761-4975 or visit

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