Are you baffled by a world far too full of option, and even toy reviews can’t help you decide if you’re looking at a good one? Keep reading for our top tips on getting a great toy pick for your child.
Is it safe for them to play with?
Of course, the primary concern when selectin a toy has to be its safety. It’s easy to get distracted by flash looks and appealing sales talk and forget that it has to be sturdy and serve a purpose. Firstly, toys should always be appropriate to your child’s age. A toy that’s perfectly safe for an older child may not be safe for a young one. Usually, a recommended age will be displayed on the packaging. Then examine the toy itself. Small easily breakable parts are not good for younger children like toddlers. A toy with broken or very sharp edges will not be suitable. If you have younger children, you will want a toy that can be easily sanitized, and you may want to avoid ‘shooter’ toys like guns, air guns and Nerf guns totally as they can be dangerous in young hands. So can toys relying on batteries, which contain dangerous chemical content. Likewise, depending on your particular viewpoint, you may not want to choose to support tie-in merchandise with shows and films that you don’t support morally. Children can easily be persuaded to imitate what they see. Toy reviews and other online sites will give you a good idea of the scope and variety of toys available.
What else do I need from a good toy?
Remember that there is no real need to buy in to overelaborate toys. A child is perfectly capable of using the simplest of everyday objects to activate their imagination. Simple things- from markers, bottles and pillows to boxes- can be a world of imagination and entertainment. For this reason, toys that can be put to a lot of work can be great choices. Think building blocks, construction sets, dress up toys and dolls. This allows your child a whole realm of uses to explore. Ideally, toys that spark your child’s creativity should also help them further their development, especially younger children.
What types of development can toys support?
Play is a form of learning, especially for younger children. Not only does it promote their creativity, but it can contribute massively to developing important skills. Of course, motor skills are easily built by the right kind of play, but it can also help stimulate other realms of exploration. Toys can even stimulate your child’s rational and scientific reason skills. Think of magnetic toys, playdough and toys that work in water.
It can even introduce them to ideas like problem solving, musical awareness and begin preparing the ground for their future reading ability. They can also be a key part of the child’s emotional and social development, introducing children to the world around them with safe kid-friendly models [cash registers, doll houses etc] of the real adult world.
Remember that online toy reviews can also help you to get a sense of how certain toys work and how kids react to them.