Who doesn't love seeing children play with their toys, and witnessing the delight it gives as they exercise their imagination and creativity? Turning Legos into houses, buildings, cars, or libraries, the sky’s the limit!
Coming in all shapes and forms, there’s no end to the options at their fingertips for play. Even outside the conventional image of what a child’s to is, child psychologists often point out that a simple set of house keys, a whistle, an electronic watch, even or a blanket are enough to enrapture a child’s attention.
What they’re often after are the sensations derived from contact with these instruments. They’re enthralled by the senses they tickle: their sense of sound (jingling keys), the way they feel (soft blankets), their visual perception (a lit up electronic watch dial) because everything is still new to them and they’re left to digest the world around them through these senses.
This explains why we also see them putting things into their mouths: partly as a way to observe, and explore. This is how they learn and develop, and begin their foray into consciousness.
Far from limiting these integral brain-enhancing activities, we as well-meaning adults, frequently let our better judgement preside and often halt certain unhygienic practices that could potentially harm our children.
Rightly so, as in the first six (6) months from birth, infants only get their immunity from their mother’s milk, and have no capacity to form antibodies until then. After that, their bodies start to adjust and develop a response to the bacteria, fungi, virus, and mold that they get exposed to.
So what can we do in the meantime to help foster this healthy immune response? That is of course to clean! Given the likelihood of these being swallowed, some tips for cleaning would be:
- For hard and non-porous surfaces like rubber or silicone (like pacifiers and teething instruments):
- clean with only a few drops of dishwashing liquid and rinse well with water
- sanitize for the recommended dwell time by immersing in the sanitizing solution. You may choose to airdry overnight, or dry proactively with a clean cloth or a paper towel.
- For toys with a porous surface (like stuffed toys):
- Launder and place in the drier to prevent the material from staying wet for too long.
- Leave to completely dry under the sun if possible, to allow the UV to penetrate the fibrous filling.
- For toys that cannot be immersed:
- Spray the sanitizing solution on the surface of the toy and leave for the recommended dry time.
- Rinse with clean water and airdry, or proactively dry with a clean microfiber cloth or a paper towel.
Our children’s tools through which they explore the world should also be a source of security, and with these simple steps, we can help them utilize these gifts safely.