At Heartfelt, we believe that simple, age appropriate toys that encourage deep, imaginative play are the most enriching for children. For ages birth to seven, open ended toys that can be used in many different ways are very important. For younger children especially, less is more. We suggest a few, well chosen toys of exceptional quality. A soft doll, pans and bowls for kitchen play, a few silk squares in soft colors, a set of building blocks, a wheeled vehicle or two, a fabric ball—these are appropriate toys for early childhood.
As children grow, jigsaw puzzles, board games and playground balls are fun and encourage interaction with family members and other friends. Dress up costumes (a cape, a crown, a sash) can open a door to imaginative worlds. For the older child, many families find themselves immersed in a culture of computer screens and all manner of electronic media. At Heartfelt, we strive to offer healthier alternatives, encouraging kids to be kids while they are kids. Science toys offer a range of exciting experiments. Historic weaponry and costumes encourage dramatic role play. High quality art materials aid in the development of artistry and self expression through art. For the older child, we suggest materials or kits that develop a skill, not just produce a finished project. Thus, the kits offer a springboard to further creativity.
Children who know how to really play have a self sufficiency in our world. Though boredom may strike occasionally, children who are encouraged to play will soon imagine their way out of boredom. And who says play is just for children? Adults can and should play too--magnets, tops, yoyos, intriguing games and puzzles all offer opportunitues for grownups to be playful too!