Toys That Steer Kids Away From Video Games – Don’t reach for video games! The Doll Hospital and Toy Soldier Shop in Berkley has these non video game toys.
Toys That Steer Kids Away From Video Games I recruited Jack Zagrodzki of the Doll Hospital and Toy Soldier Shop in Berkley to help give parents advice on how to select toys that stimulate creativity and learning, and that kids can enjoy as much as a video game or electronic toy.
Toys That Steer Kids Away From Video Games
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – Which are your most popular toys?
Jack Zagrodzki of the Doll Hospital and Toy Soldier Shop in Berkley: The phrase “different strokes for different folks” could not be more true. For children that love arts and crafts, we have them. For Playmobil, we have them. Wooden trains, Thomas the Tank, we have them. There really is something here for any and every child.
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – What are the trends you are seeing in toy purchases?
Jack Zagrodzki of the Doll Hospital and Toy Soldier Shop in Berkley: What you are seeing more of is that children are simply becoming older faster from a standpoint of play. Electronics play a great deal in that. We used to see parents purchasing toys for children through age 12 or 13 and that slowly is diminishing and it’s becoming younger and now it’s 10 years of age and in some cases even younger. It’s understandable but it’s sad at the same time only from a standpoint that children are losing the ability for imaginative play. Electronics create a world for them that is void of imagination.
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – How do these changes affect their future?
Jack Zagrodzki of the Doll Hospital and Toy Soldier Shop in Berkley: If you don’t have an imagination or anything that has to do with problem solving, you’re going to miss potentially certain ways to solve a problem down the road… anything that has anything to do with creativity. Problem solving is a daily issue regardless of what a child chooses to do in life. And, communication is a basis for relationships and it’s all impacted by it (electronics).
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – How do you see this effecting toy manufacturers and their business plan?
Jack Zagrodzki of the Doll Hospital and Toy Soldier Shop in Berkley: Mass market toy manufacturers tend to market directly to children. Our approach is to market to adults and moms. The mass market toy industry is driven solely by televsion and movies. You have a licensed product that has a short life-span and it’s all based on the latest movies or big televsion shows that come out.
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – Do you think they should focus more on classic toys?
Jack Zagrodzki of the Doll Hospital and Toy Soldier Shop in Berkley: Specialty toys are tried and true. Whether it’s a Radio Flyer wagon or wooden toys or something made to last. Playmobil is something like that. Children have loved them for years and years. Memories we have of childhood make you smile. It’s the classic toys that we talk about and remember. It’s a feel good moment and you want to be able to share that with your children.
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – What toys do you recommend to get your child away from the electronics and video games? What are some toys that steer kids away from video games?
Jack Zagrodzki of the Doll Hospital and Toy Soldier Shop in Berkley: It boils down to personal interests! Building, crafts, puzzles, quiet play… Games are great because they involve the entire family but it still boils down to what a particular child enjoys. I think a greater service that any parent can do is to try to cycle through your toys and not provide an over-abundance of anything because children have a tendancy to grow bored with them. If you can take your toys after a short time and put them away and pull out something different, then you’re refreshing what you’ve purchased. Also, it’s better to buy a few pieces to something and then add on gradually. For example: something like Thomas the Tank. You can purchase a simple figure 8 and then gradually buy some add ons or you can buy a huge, gigantic table and fill it with a huge set. What we’ve found to be a better way to do it is to get a figure 8 and add on slowly because every time you bring home something new it refreshes that item. Add on slowly! When you notice there’s a bit of a decline, that’s a great time to either put it away and bring out something they haven’t played with in a while, or buy an add on to a collection because they’ll come right back to it.
Lisa LaGrou Oakland County Moms – Is it up to the parents to keep their kids away from video games or is it up to the toy manufacturers to get more creative?
Jack Zagrodzki of the Doll Hospital and Toy Soldier Shop in Berkley – Toy manufacturers are doing their job by simply coming out with products they believe will sell. It’s a business to them. I think it’s up to the parents to foster play. We’re the ones on the front line. I say that not as a toy store owner, but as a parent. I want my boys to be able to play with toys and enjoy being outside just like I did. It’s a difficult battle because they want to do what they’re friends are doing. It’s very difficult. It boils down to being an involved parent with your children. It’s easy when they’re young. It’s when they start going to school and interacting with other children and what they want is to mimic what they perceive is fun. Being involved and having fun with them is important. I think that’s really the answer. It’s parental involvement.
Check out the Doll Hospital and Toy Soldier Shop website to find toys that steer kids away from video games