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7 Things To Consider When You Buy Toys For Your Baby

7 Things To Consider When You Buy Toys For Your Baby

Going down the toy aisle of any store can cause a panic attack—there are so many cute things, fuzzy things, colorful things! Worst of all, every toy insists that it’s the best for your kid. What to believe; what should you pick? Here are seven things to consider when you buy toys for your baby.

1. The age range is suitable for your baby.

This is the first thing to look for. You don’t want to find the perfect toy, then realize that it’s still a year beyond your baby’s comprehension. This is also important to note when buying gifts for others’ children. Giving a gift intended for younger kids might insult the one you’re buying a gift for, so make sure to check for the appropriate age range.

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2. It’s safe for your baby.

You’d think every toy on the shelf these days would be safe for babies, but that’s not true. Toys are safe for the most part, but a lot of this could be personal to you and what you want for your child. Thankfully, much of this is covered when you find age-appropriate toys for your baby: toys with small parts are unsafe for infants, but then again, they’d be marked for an older age range. Still, look at the components of the toy and see how it’s made. Does it seem safe for your child? Are there small screws that might come loose? Would the paint start to flake off the wood if your baby drooled on it?

3. It encourages creativity.

Toys that do everything for a child are no fun. Kids love to use their imaginations, so make sure you’re giving them toys that encourage this! Instead of a Lego kit to construct a ship, why not just buy some building blocks so your child can build whatever they want? Toys that cater to your child’s specific interests can be great sometimes, but also pull back a little and make sure you’re giving them a chance to make toys fun for themselves.

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    4. It promotes physical activity.

    There’s plenty of time for your kid to get into video games once he or she is older. Why not start them off with more physical toys while they are young? There are toys that involve more action than just sitting on the floor playing, like toys that require the child to walk and push before they light up. Toys like this don’t have to be the newest and greatest—think of all the classic toys you might have played with. It was always fun to fly a kite on a beautiful day and run along behind! Don’t get stumped just because the toy aisle isn’t offering what you had in mind.

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    5. It grows with the child.

    Raising a kid is expensive. And guess what? Kid’s toys are expensive, too! Don’t throw away all your money on toys that will only amuse your child for a few months. Take time to research and find toys that will grow with your child. There is a wide assortment of toys that start at one level for your baby, then can easily be transformed into something slightly different and more challenging as your child ages.

    6. It provides a multi-sensory experience.

    Find toys for your baby that do more than just one thing. Toys that light up, make noise, and have different textures will engage your child more than a toy that simply lights up. These types of toys have been proven to help children, especially those who have special needs, with stopping behaviors, reducing stress, and providing a different type of stimulation.

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    7. It encourages learning.

    Toys that light up or make noises can be fun, but make sure they stimulate your child’s mind. They’re so young that they can pick up on things and learn quickly, so take advantage of this time! Invest in toys that ask for the child to problem solve or think critically to play or build with.

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    Last Updated on January 14, 2019

    7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

    7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

    From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

    What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

    1. Take the scenic route.

    Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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    Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

    2. Distract yourself.

    No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

    3. Listen to music or podcasts.

    There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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    4. Bring a friend.

    Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

    Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

    5. Accessorize.

    There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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    For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

    6. Compete.

    A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

    7. Relax.

    The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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    With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

    Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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