Toys make up most of your child’s life, they are his/her world. Either their favorite superhero/superheroine or their doll, when children play with their toys, they escape into their own marvelous world.
There is an infinite number of toys out there, and picking the right one for your child is a tough process. There are many things that you will need to consider before you pick the right one for your child. Therefore we are here to ease that process by giving you the top tips to know before buying a toy for your child or toddler.
Toys to Buy and Elements to Considers:
Before buying any toy, you need to know if it’s appropriate for your child’s age or not. For example, younger children should play with play-dough. They should not be anywhere near anything plastic or pointy, as they might end up injuring themselves or swallowing anything by mistake.
On the other hand, older children could play with building blocks, which are perfect for them as not only will they be having fun, but building blocks will stimulate their little minds and make them more creative. Also, action figures are great for that age, as children will create and live their own fantasies and scenarios using their action figures.
There are also video games for older children. But we cannot stress the importance of adhering to the rating provided on the video game’s case’s front. These ratings are created by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board), they range all the way from E (everyone) to M (mature) or A (adult). So before you buy your child a video game, make sure that the rating matches your child’s age.
2. Problem-Solving Toys
These are for older children, especially ones from the age of 4 and upwards. You need to introduce them to problem-solving toys. What are these you wonder, they are toys that develop your child’s problem-solving capabilities by challenging their small minds to think outside the box.
These toys include picture puzzle games or small puzzles, you can even introduce your children to chess by telling them about the different pieces and their movements. But, we recommend waiting until they are a little bit older.
3. Physical Activity Toys
You should always look for toys that will keep your child active. Moving and running as a child is essential as it helps your child to develop strong bones. So look for toys like cars or balls from different kinds as they will keep your child on the move.
4. Toys that Encourage Reading
These cater to small and old children alike. As it is always good to give your child a head start on his/her reading before enrolling them into any sort of school. And, what better way to engage them into reading than these toys. They include everything from magnetic alphabet letters to books and everything else.
You can even use menus or magazines as they are colorful and include a ton of pictures that will keep your child on the edge of his/her seat.
5. Cross-Generational Toys
There is no better sensation for both parents and a child than playing together. Playing with your child strengthens the bond between both of you and creates memories that you will both cherish forever. The best toys that both the parent and child can play are board games. You should look for simple board games that do not require reading skills, and are easy to play.
Cross-generational toys strengthen the bond between both of you but also strengthens your child’s memory, listening skills, problem-solving skills, and, most importantly, their self-discipline. Step by step, your child will begin to understand how to deal with problems, how to solve them, and how to deal with winning and losing. This will help to nurture your child’s brain and his/her personality as well.
Toys to Avoid
Now that we talked about the toys that you should be getting for your children. We will discuss the ones that you should avoid at all costs as they might be harmful and will do more harm than good.
1. Liquid Filled Toys
You have to avoid any toy that is filled with any sort of liquid, no matter how bright and colorful that liquid is or how much your child nags and begs you to buy that toy, do not buy it.
Most of these liquids are toxic; poisonous chemicals, and we all know that all children put their toys in their mouths (force of habit). Therefore if your child puts a liquid-filled toy in his/her mouth, it will burst, and the liquid will be swallowed, this can be fatal. This is why we strongly recommend that you avoid these toys as it is better to be safe than sorry.
2. Metal Detachable Parts
You should always steer away from any toy that has detachable metal parts. These parts range from magnets to screws, bolts, and even keys. Because, as we said before, those children, whether babies or toddlers just love to put their toys in their mouths.
If any metal part was to fall into your child’s mouth, it would be disastrous. It might end up causing infections, choking, and even blockages inside arteries. Therefore, it is always best to stay clear of toys with metal parts.
3. Sharp Ends, Strings, and Chords
These three come together hand in hand. We all know that children, especially smaller ones, like to throw their hands in the air and bite their toys. If their toy has a sharp edge, and the child decides to throw his/her hands into the air, the sharp edge might poke them in their eyes or even cut their skin. So it is a must that you avoid these toys.
Toys with strings or cords should also be avoided as your child’s hands or even neck might become strangled by these chords. This is extremely dangerous, as this might lead to the circulation being cut off from your child’s limbs.
This is one last thing that you need to consider. Never make assumptions, just because you like a toy and it’s up to your taste, does not mean that your child will like it as well. Our children are budding human beings with their own different and unique minds and tastes. That is why we must cater to these minds and tastes when buying toys and get them what they like, not what we like.
Picking a toy for your child is not that hard, but it requires some thinking and effort. You need to make sure that the toy is age-appropriate, will help your child develop his/her mind and body, and will make them feel engaged.
However, there are also things that you should avoid, like toys with sharp edges, metal parts, and liquid-filled toys. Avoid these toys at all costs to ensure your child’s safety and health.