Ochsner expert gives gift buying advice to parents

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Parents and kids are hitting the toy stores this holiday season, but some parents may be overwhelmed with the choices.

Jennfier Corie is a speech-language pathologist at Ochsner Medical Center, she helps kids who struggle with speaking and communication.

Corie wants parents to know about the best gifts for infants, especially because there are so many toys advertised to little kids.

For starters, Corie says you should avoid noisy items, like toys that talk or loud electronics. She says this can have a negative effect on your child's developing brain.

"They're gonna tell you letters and shapes and numbers and so forth but they're gonna set up for the child to be more passive rather than child actively playing with the toys," Corie said. "Babies and toddlers, they're doing an immense amount of language development and learning and that time period is really critical."

And your kid doesn't have to be a chess whiz to get an educational gift.

Corie says parents should go back in time - way back to the days of Mr. Potato Head, pop up books, and Play-doh. She says these gifts inspire imagination.

"Anything that a child can grow with and get those pretend skills like they're pretending to feed a baby or pour tea," Corie said.

Corie also says parents should make time to play with their kids and their toys, because socializing with someone while playing is also good for learning.

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