As a parent you always want what is best for your child. That holds true when you select your child's Christmas toys as well. The toys you select will go a long way in the development of your child down the road. In toy shopping don’t overlook the importance of selecting toys which will promote active learning.

Dr. Julia Roberts, pediatrician with Hannibal Regional Medical Group, has offered a few tips to help you choose toys that will encourage your children to learn while engaging in play.  “Active learning occurs when children learn or strengthen skills through play,” shares Dr. Roberts. “Toys can help children with their problem solving skills as well as encourage them to be active and explore new things.”

Dr. Roberts has prepared a list of things to be concerned about when purchasing toys for your child.

Select toys that encourage exploration and problem solving.

Children are able to practice new skills over and over through play. Items such as puzzles, blocks, nesting blocks or cups, and art materials are good choices to help children learn and use their problems solving skills.

Find toys that encourage your child to be active.

Toys that encourage children to be active are helping them practice current physical skills and develop new ones.  Some toys that encourage active play are balls of different shapes and sizes, tricycles or three-wheeled scooters (with appropriate safety gear), gardening tools and plastic bowling sets.

Choose toys that encourage cross-generational play.

Adults and children can play almost anything together, but some toys are designed for adults to play as well.   Playing board games together will help your children learn to count, matching and strengthen memory skills.