The holiday season is upon us, and that means three things: family gatherings, Christmas dinners, and plenty of gifts. For the adults, the main draw for the holiday is the first two things – the food and the companionship. For the kids, however, everything is second to the gifts they will get, especially if they are in the form of toys.
We know that plenty of parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and family friends will be running around, trying to find the right toys for the kids in their lives. Those who are internet-savvy might order the toys from an online store like Thaynards. How good of a match they will make depends on how well they know what the kids want, however, there are a few things everyone buying children’s toys needs to keep in mind.
The first thing is safety. The usual reasoning goes that children bellow certain age shouldn’t play with small toys because they can unwillingly inhale or swallow them. However, there are some other things that pertain to toy safety, like the quality of manufacturing and the materials that are used. If a toy is flimsy and could easily be broken, it might present a danger for the child playing with it. Likewise, because children of a certain age like to put everything into their mouth, it is very important for the toy to be made of non-toxic, non-carcinogenic materials. Harmful materials can cause everything from rashes to serious health issues, so to stay on the safe side, do some research on the materials that are blacklisted for use in children’s toys, look at declaration stickers on the packaging, and only buy toys from established manufacturers.
Next, you need to think about whether the toy is appropriate for the children. This is where you actually have to think about whether or not the kids will be interested in the toy, but that’s not the only thing you need to ponder on. The toy needs to be age appropriate for many reasons, from safety to simply the ability of the child to play with it. Or, in case the child has outgrown the toy, you’ll have a tough time making him play with it. It’s important to get age-appropriate toys because toys for certain age groups are made with their capabilities in mind. Apart from being age appropriate, the toys can also be gender-appropriate or not, but this might not be an issue if the parents aren’t raising the children in traditional gender roles.
Finally, you need to ask yourself a simple question – what value does the toy have? Sure, toys are made for kids to have fun with them, but that’s not everything they can do. They can help develop motor skills, they can help with learning how to read and write, or perform many tasks adults take for granted. Through play, kids learn how to navigate the world around them and interact with things, so a good toy will also teach them something. Bikes teach about balance, but also about being a responsible participant in traffic. Legos teach creativity. Rattles teach that manipulating objects make things happen, which is an important lesson when we’re really young. So keep in mind – a good toy should be safe, appropriate for the child and the way it’s being raised, and it should be fun and facilitate learning.