Recently I read the book Lagom, The Swedish Art of Balance Living and I love some of the philosophies shared within its pages. Lagom is the Swedish word for “just the right amount” and the book shares plenty of ideas on how to live a balanced life. Part of the book that specifically stood out to me however was a small section regarding kids toys. With Christmas coming up, I wanted to share with you all a bit about the Swedish philosophy when it comes to choosing to choosing toys for your children.
If you have ever stepped into a kids toy store, you were likely faced with aisles and aisles of plastic junk that will eventually make its way to a landfill after being played with a few times. The typical American household is filled with these light up, singing, overstimulating toys that provide little value for children. In contrast, the Lagom philosophy suggests choosing toys that allow children to use their imagination and creativity.
The Lagom philosophy provides an amazing guideline for choosing toys for children and it is something we have chosen to follow when choosing to purchase toys for our daughter. In addition to the below guidelines, we also look for toys made out of high quality sustainable materials. Instead of choosing trendy plastic toys, I look for beautiful made timeless toys that can be enjoyed for years and even for generations.
Here are five things to look for in a Lagom toy
1. More than one use
These wooden blocks are one of my favourite toys we purchased for Emilia since they have so many different uses. She loves to use them to build towers (which help build her manual dexterity!). But more than that, the blocks also have numbers, letters and animal pictures that we can use to teach her the ABC’s, counting and more.
2. Stimulates exploratory play
Exploratory play is essentially play that allows children to use their senses to learn more about the world around them. It promotes curiosity and allows them to observe abstract concepts in their environment.
3. Helps imagination
Something as simple as a fabric doll can provide hours of entertainment to a child. I love watching my daughter interact with her dolls and stuffed animals. She pretends to feed them, goes for walks with them and even puts them down for a time-out when they are being naughty. While a doll may seem like a simple toy, it allows little ones to expand their imagination and be creative in their play.
4. Can be used as child gets older
It is important to choose toys that grow with a child. Not only does this save you money as a parent but it helps slow the cycle of toys ending up in the landfill.
5. Doesn’t over entertain
If a toy lights up, sings and moves it’s probably a toy you should avoid purchasing for your home. As a parent, I find many sound producing toys overstimulating, so you can imaging how much more over-stimulating some modern toys can be to little ones.