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The Truth About Toys for Infants and the Need to Resist Rampant Consumerism

Introduction
Toys are the child’s means of discovering both self and the world. Infants are not born
knowing the difference between red and green, hard and soft, sweet and sour, loud and
quiet, and so on. In the same way, babies are not born knowing the difference between
self and others. Toys are the tools that help the infant, and young child, make these
discriminations. Ironically, this “playful” process of discrimination is effortful and time
consuming. Infants (and older children) process information much more slowly than do
adults. It may take an infant hours, or days, to explore all of a toy’s facets. That is to say,
a baby learns a great deal from playing with the same toy over an extended period of
time. Variety may be the spice of life, but it is a turn-off of infant learning.
“Variety may be the spice of life, but it is a turn-off of infant
learning.”
Copyright © 2008 International Infant Development Centre. All rights reserved. Page 3 of 13
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