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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 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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