Tips on Buying Toys for Your Children

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Make shopping for gifts easier with these tips
Looking for that enjoyable, educational toy for your kid isn't always easy. Photo via Pexels, CC0.
Make shopping for gifts easier with these tips
Looking for that enjoyable, educational toy for your kid isn’t always easy. Photo via Pexels, CC0.

Buying toys for your children should be easy, right? After all, every time they go into a store, they point out a million different things that they want. However, this can often make it more difficult. Plus, children get bored with things easily, so you don’t want to spend your cash on something only for your child to decide they want something new and shiny the next day. Not only that but with the many toys available today it can be overwhelming! But, don’t fret, as here are some great tips that should help you to find the ideal toy for your little one…

Always buy something age appropriate

As mentioned, there are so many different types of toys on the market, and this makes it difficult to know where to begin. However, a good starting point is always the age group the toy has been designed for. On every toy, you should see a label that indicates what ages the toy is suitable for. This is imperative for safety, first and foremost, but it also helps you to determine whether the toy is suitable, and also how long it is going to be suitable for. If your child is five-years-old, and you purchase a toy for those between the ages of three and five, there is always a possibility your little one may grow bored of the toy very quickly.

Consider the assembly of the toy

Whenever you buy a toy, you need to know whether it is ready to go straight out of the box, or is it going to need some effort to put together. If the latter applies, which is often the case with the likes of dollhouses and larger items, you do need to be tactical. Remember, as soon as your child sees the gift, they are going to want to play with it straight away. If you tell them they need to wait another five days until the weekend so you have time to put it together, be prepared to have a week of nagging on your hands.

Read reviews that have been left online

Other parents are very helpful! Whenever you are thinking about buying a certain toy, take the time to read reviews online to see what other people have had to say about it. They will alert you to the pros and cons of the toy, as well as providing details on their child’s reaction to the item. What elements did the child enjoy the most? How long did they spend playing with it? This can be especially beneficial for craft toys, which only have a limited amount of use. You can find out whether it is a one-time activity, or whether it is something that is going to occupy your child for a number of afternoons to come.

Make safety a priority

Safety should always be your number on concern when you are looking for a toy for your child. As discussed, looking at the age group the toy has been designed for is an important step in this. However, you should also check for toy recalls. It only takes a small amount of effort to research this online. While toy recalls are rare, there have been a number of incidents where the brand recalled toys because they discovered a potential danger. A few minutes researching this information online can help to prevent any accidents taking place.

Select toys that do more than entertain

Another tip when buying toys for your child is to look for something that offers more than fun and entertainment. Of course, your child is going to have a number of toys that are purely for fun, as all children should. Nevertheless, whenever possible, look for toys that have educational elements to them. For example, toy kitchens, block sets, and water tables all provide learning opportunities, yet they still offer immense amounts of fun and so your child will never know they are learning. Toy kitchens and items like this that encourage role-play are great for developing your child’s social skills and creating a sense of responsibility and empathy with others.
So there you have it: the five important tips that should help you to choose the right toy for your little one. If you follow the advice provided, you are bound to find the perfect toy. Happy shopping!

19 COMMENTS

  1. Great post, I’d also make the budget a priority…second-hand doesn’t have to mean damaged and it can all be cleaned. Also I try to give experiences instead of stuff for birthdays. Love the last point especially! Great post xx

  2. When my children were young I would focus on educational toys. They loved LEGO and building toys where they could create places where their doll people could play.

  3. While age guidelines are a good idea in principal, every child does develop somewhat at their own level. If your child seems really interested in a toy you think may be too immature or advanced for them, sometimes you have to use your instincts to decide and then observe them as they play to determine if it is a good fit. Also if you have more than one child, sometimes age appropriateness goes out the window because especially younger children want to do/play with what the older sibling has.

  4. I am going to be cynical, Christy, and say that if you want success with a toy it needs to be electronic. I am lucky, both my boys read but they are not the usual. Most kids only want computer games, ipads, iphones and the like.

  5. Yes yes yes-assembly! The year my daughter wanted a Barbie dream house for Christmas I was newly widowed and didn’t realize that it was in a thousand pieces. Needless to say it sat in the box awhile….

  6. I think that a key element not mentioned is that I feel that buying some toys that promote the use and creation of imagination is essential. Examples might be Lego, for both boys and girls, that allow them to build a load of different things, or craft kits that might allow them to make picture frames, wind chimes, or paint things.

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