Today, there is a dizzying array of kids’ toys on the market. Starting with stacking toys and rattles for toddlers, coloring books and magnetic drawing boards for preschoolers, and ending with highly complex Lego sets and scientific exploration kits for older children — you will indeed find an option to your liking.
But how do you pick the toy that will be durable, entertaining, and also help your child learn something new? Here are the main factors to consider when selecting a gift for your child.
Select the Price Bracket
When perusing the aisles, keep in mind that the best toy is not always the most expensive one. Teach your child to treasure gifts and don’t spend the whole fortune on them, as every year brings a new must-have toy. Remember that expensive toys do not necessarily equal the best ones; instead, look for toys that are entertaining to play with, have educational value, and foster creativity.
Special occasions, like Christmas and birthdays, do call for more elaborate gifts, and in such cases, it’s time to splurge. If the big event is approaching and you’re short on cash, consider taking payday loans from Payday Depot or other loaners.
Choose Age-Appropriate Toys
Another thing to consider is your child’s age. A six-year-old will have vastly different interests, hobbies, and — it comes as no surprise — cognitive development level than a toddler.
When reading a description of a certain toy, pay attention to the details, as age suitability is often specified on the box or the toy itself. While some toys, like stacking rings, may only be playable for limited periods, others, like cute plushies, will be far more open-ended than the rest and become your child’s cherished companions for years to come.
Babies (0-12 months)
At this stage, it’s pivotal to engage the child’s senses. Pick saturated and vibrant toys, as babies have blurry vision during the first months of life. Infants also tend to mouth toys, so make sure to pick an easy-to-grasp, high-quality toy made of safe materials.
Suitable for babies: rattles, brightly colored crib toys, soft plushies, and dolls, grabbing toys, balls, floor gyms, and floating toys for bathtub time.
Toddlers (1-3 years)
The 1-year-olds are more aware of their surroundings and start moving around, so it’s high time to introduce more physical games into their playing routines. At the same time, 2- and 3-year-olds have better-developed fine and gross motor skills, so buying puzzles or push-and-pull toys is always a great idea.
Suitable for toddlers: illustrated books, sandbox tools, kitchen sets, push-and-pull toys, musical instruments, and tricycles.
Preschoolers (3-5 years)
In this age range, children become more independent, so expect them to explore their surroundings, ask lots of questions, and interact with other kids and adults. It’s also time to expose them to more educational toys that expand their verbal skills and teach them math.
Suitable for preschoolers: bicycles, art supplies, board games and books, puzzles, and toys that teach phonics and reading.
6-year-olds and beyond
There are little to no constraints when picking a toy for a child in this age group. Computer and board games, sports equipment and musical instruments, or science and art kits — check the age specifications on the box and buy your child a new favorite toy.
Find Toys that Educate and Encourage Creativity
The purpose of a great toy is not solely to entertain but also to educate. During the formative years of childhood, it’s crucial to expose children to new things in new and engaging ways. Choosing a great toy will encourage problem-solving and critical thinking and advance a child’s cognitive development.
Remember to maintain a balance: a good educational toy is also a fun educational toy. Kids like being entertained, and a perfect toy or game is a combination of both. Making art projects will foster creativity, riding a bicycle will help with gross motor skill development, and solving puzzles will require both fine motor skills and problem-solving skills.
Consider Child’s Hobbies
From an early age, children start to exhibit differences in their personalities, interests, and hobbies. So, what makes your child excited? There is always this one toy or activity that your child gravitates toward. Whether it’s sheer curiosity about space, love for animals and nature, or just a beloved comic book character — pay attention to the kid’s preferences when choosing the perfect gift.
Take into account that a pricey computer game or expensive science set might be fun in the short term. Still, if the kid prefers outdoor activities, it’s better to buy a bike or something suitable for a physically active child.
Conclusions – Guide to Toy Shopping
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a great toy. Its educational and entertaining value should align with the child’s interests and, at the same time, be age-appropriate. With so many options on the market, this simple task might transform into a dreaded chore. After all, who wants to see disappointment on their kid’s face? By following the provided suggestions, you will be able to quickly discard the unsuitable options and find the perfect gift for your kid.