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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 March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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