It seems that as science advances, parents become more and more aware of the effect certain foods and activities have on their children. Gone are the days when fluffy teddy bears, Barbie dolls, and GI Joe figures were considered staple items in every kid's toy box; today, there is increasing pressure for children's recreation to be productive, educational, and enjoyable. Therefore, more and more parents are seeking toys for their children that will exercise their bodies and their minds, in order to give them the best possible start in life.
In recent years, toy manufacturers have been meeting these needs through a variety of new toy designs. However, classic toys [http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/talktoyourbaby/play.html#simply] can still provide children with effective mental and physical exercise if used in the right way. For example, old-fashioned sandpits can be a great way to get children to think about the way in which building and construction works: by using sandpits to 'create', children will be exercising their minds and imaginative processes, as well as having fun frolicking about in a sand pit.
Alternatively, if you're buying your son or daughter an outdoor playhouse or climbing frame, get them to help you construct it: if you let your child do the simple tasks when building a playhouse or climbing frame, it may bestow crucial developmental skills that will aid them in their future learning. While many children love to spend time colouring and drawing, it may sometimes be a good idea to encourage your child to make things indoors that can be used outdoors; for example, have them make a kite that can be flown on clear days.
A lot of educational and recreational activities for children don't even have to revolve around actual toys. Activities, such as gardening or cooking, can also help childhood development in many ways. Whether at school or at home, engaging in outdoor activities like gardening can instil a lot of self-confidence in a child, especially if they can see their efforts in helping a plant grow and come to life. And with the common issue of children's health in the news these days, cooking can also be a wonderful way to engage your child; by teaching children to cook healthily from an early age - away for sharp objects and heat of course! - parents can help them understand not only how their bodies work, but about the importance of personal health.