To Hatchimal or Not to Hatchimal?
You’ve probably heard about the Hatchimal craze, but have you considered whether it’s a good addition to your child’s toy box? Before you scramble to search online or in stores, UnityPoint Health pediatrician, Andrea White, M.D., answers questions parents might have about arguably the most popular toy of the holiday season.
For what ages are Hatchimals appropriate?
Hatchimals are designed for children age 5 and up.
Will Hatchimals hinder my child’s development?
I would look at Hatchimals the same as any other electronic toy – it’s okay in small doses. If a child is playing with a Hatchimal, then spending time coloring, reading books, building with blocks and interacting with other children, it likely won’t affect his/her development negatively. However, if children only spend time playing with electronic toys, there is concern that their social development may be impacted.
How can I help my child’s play be more creative with a Hatchimal?
If you want to encourage your child to play creatively with their Hatchimal, try having them build a house for their Hatchimal out of Legos or blocks, write a story that they can read to their Hatchimal or draw a picture of the land where their Hatchimal lives. Ask them what they think a typical day in the life of a Hatchimal would be, come up with stories of Hatchimal adventures or try to guess things about the Hatchimal, such as his/her favorite food or color. These activities all engage your child’s imagination.
How long will this toy hold my child’s interest? Once it hatches, will it lose its luster?
The downside of a toy that can only be interacted with in certain ways is that it becomes uninteresting, once the child has mastered it. Toys that spark the imagination, such as building blocks and art supplies, can be played with in many different ways. The biggest thing to remember before spending an exorbitant amount of money on any toy is a fad is a fad…the Hatchimal, too, shall pass.
For any questions related to your child’s health, contact your UnityPoint Health pediatrician or provider.