He was staring at me, eyes wide open. My six-year-old son was disappointed. The gift he received was not what the one he had hoped for. I explained to him the concept of a “gift”, something given to “make someone happy” and for which we say “thank you”. But during the following days, I had to accept the obvious: this new game was of no interest to my son. Actually, everything about that game was the opposite of what he liked!
How to choose the right game or the right toy for your child? “Through observation, simply”, says Gilles Cantin, an Education professor at Université du Québec à Montréal. The child’s personality, age, needs, and tastes will help the parents choose the perfect game. A ball is a good choice for a two-year-old boy who likes to move and who’s learning to improve his coordination. A DIY box is recommended for an inventive four-year-old girl. And a board game will make a quiet six-year-old boy very happy.
“You have to watch your children’s development and give them games that will spark their interest”, says Catherine Goldschmidt, a mother of three and a journalist specialized in games and toys. Limiting oneself to giving games and toys that match the child’s personality is a mistake. Doing the opposite is very useful and pushes children to develop other aspects of their personality, and consequently, other skills. “The parent must get involved to trigger interest”, Ms. Goldschmidt underlines.
Here are a few game ideas that are likely to spark your child’s interest, according to certain personality features.
– Creative: costumes, mime games, a cardboard house.
– Curious: a flashlight, a magnifier, objects to collect.
– Active: spinning tops, toy planes, a skipping rope.
– Reflective: puzzles, logic games, structures to assemble.
Books are also precious tools that feed children’s imagination, regardless of their age and temperament. Mr. Cantin also reminds us of the importance of free play. “The material for playing doesn’t have to be expensive”, he says. “A versatile material will be sustainable.”
Play and learn with Danino ! Visit danino.ca to download and print games.