New study finds tech-free toys are best for children under 5

Published: Dec. 3, 2018 at 7:46 AM EST
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Looking for a high-tech toy to stick in a box to put under the Christmas tree for a young child?

Some pediatricians say you're better off skipping the trip to the mall - and giving the kid a box instead. Dr. Alan Mendelsohn co-wrote a new report on selecting toys for children up to around age 5. And he says the best toys for kids that age are old-fashioned hands-on things like blocks, puzzles and even cardboard boxes. For instance, Mendelsohn says a box "can be used to draw on or made into a house."

The report, by the American Academy of Pediatrics, cites studies suggesting heavy use of electronic media may interfere with children's speech and language development, replace important playtime with parents - and lead to obesity. Some studies have found that more than 90 percent of U.S. kids have used mobile devices - with most starting to do so before they are 1.

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