BILLINGS – As you search for the perfect Christmas gift for your child, new research suggests going back to the basics is the healthiest option for your child’s growth.
That means opting for toys like building blocks and Legos instead of electronic education devices like iPads and hand-held gaming devices.
A new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to not be fooled by educational electronics and instead find toys that move your child’s mind and body and gives them a chance to express their creativity.
At Bricks and Minifigs, a Billings store that specializes in buying, selling and trading Legos, owner Kevin Woods says this new health guideline for toys is something he’s practiced for years.
“I agree wholeheartedly,” he said.
It’s part of the reason he opened his Billings business.
“While there are Lego-themed video game products and stuff out there, we’ve stayed away from carrying those types of products because we wanted to focus on the building bricks themselves,” he said.
The study finds children still learn motor skills and problem-solving skills best with things like blocks and puzzles.
It also shows kids learn to use their imagination skills with dolls and toy cars.
“There is just so much that building bricks offer nowadays,” said Woods. “It gets them away from the screen time, where it’s teaching hand-eye coordination.”
Woods says the principles that children apply to building blocks and Legos, deliver skills through a variety of ways. Kids instinctively adopt engineering and architecture skills through hands-on use that can’t be taught through an electronic device.
“And then there is simply just the social aspect of being able to sit down and interact with siblings and family members, friends and know build Lego sets together,” he said.
Woods believes Legos and similar toys will continue to do well. He says Lego sets have been around for 60 years.
“I don’t think it will phase out,” said Woods. “Even with technology and video games and even education-themed games and consoles that are out nowadays, Lego has continued has continued to do well.”
Reporting by Andrea Lutz for MTN News