ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Buy the Right Toy in the Early Years

Updated on November 23, 2017

Your little bundle of joy is growing up fast! Soon going to be two years old and with every passing day his/her learning is growing in leaps and bounds and you are constantly struggling to keep up with the pace of development.

Shopping or buying gifts/toys for a child in early years can be tough, tricky and creative as they may not just play with any toy. Every parent enjoys watching their baby "learn through play". Instead of buying toys that do not have specific purpose, it is far more meaningful to get toys that have specific learning objectives that are achieved through play. Children do not differentiate between work and play in the early years. Hence, they enjoy all toys/activities/play/work that is engaging and keeps them interested.

Parents struggle to find the right toy from the overwhelming clutter that exists in the market. Besides, parents are always wary that children do not play with the toys that are purchased and lose interest very fast. The most common grouse that parents have is that their child is not engaged with the toys they buy though the toy looks colourful and attractive to the adult.

So, how then to pick the right toy in early years? A few guidelines that can be followed in picking toys will help solving some of the issues highlighted above.

  • Several toys in the market claim to be multi-purpose. For e.g. the same toy is used for shapes, sizes and colours and hence gets quite complicated from the child’s perspective. This is one of the primary factors for the child losing interest in the toy very soon, finding it confusing and overwhelming. It is advisable to look at toys that have a single objective rather than multi-utility toys. With this, you will find your little one far more engaged with the toys you purchase. As a simple example, if you were to buy a geometry board with shapes, ensure the shapes are all in the same color rather than multi colour. Since the objective of the board is to understand shapes, you do not want to confuse the child with colors.
  • The toy should challenge the child sufficiently at the correct development stage. So checking the suggested age for the toy is a must-do which will give an indication as to whether it is developmentally appropriate. Also, evaluate if the toy is too easy or too difficult. If it is too easy, the child loses interest very fast and if it is too difficult they will get frustrated
  • Try and get toys that can engage the child through multiple activities that gradually increase in complexity over few months. This way, the child finds new things to do with the same toy and their familiarity with the toy increases over time. Combined with a single purpose objective, the toy will reinforce learning through multiple means which stays with the child for life.
  • Self-correcting toys are a huge positive especially in early years, which means the toy will allow the child to make mistakes, but when mistakes are made the child can discover for themselves what the mistake is. This is the power of positive failure. As the child continues to make mistakes with the toy, it continuously challenges them and then when they get it right, they discover the objective of the toy. This is what is referred to as “Learning through Discovery”. This cannot happen if the toy does not have self-correcting properties built in. This “Discovered Learning” is what stays with the child for life.
  • It is always good to purchase toys that are of good quality rather than toys that break on first use though they may be lower priced. Just when the child gets interested in a toy, if it breaks or stops working, it is extremely disheartening for the child. Also, with the number of use and throw articles that are choking the environment today, we want to encourage children to treasure the toys they purchase rather than buy and throw toys every month. Hence, toys that can be used over a period of time and which are of good quality allow the child to treasure what they have.
  • Reduce the clutter in the house by having a select number of toys available for a child to pick from. This way, the child does not get overwhelmed by the clutter around them. It is a good practice to keep rotating toys that the child sees in the room. You will find that children go back to toys that they played with 2-3 months back and find new ways of playing with them. They also get excited by the familiarity of having played with it and seeing it again in front of them. So, it would be good to put away some toys after certain use and bring them back later for the child to play with again.
  • Preferably look for toys that are natural rather than man made materials like plastic. Children are more attracted to natural textural materials and gravitate towards toys made from wood, jute, cane over materials like plastic and metal.

With these simple guidelines in mind, we hope your little one will have a far more fulfilling time being engaged with toys. This will ensure that they are “Playing it Right”.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      tanya jain 

      8 months ago from bangalore

      Yes! I totally agree with you.

      When we look around, things have changed drastically making it a more technology oriented place to live. It has become a need to make sure that children are given proper toys such that they come out of their screens and learn something valuable.

    • Liztalton profile image

      Liztalton 

      8 months ago from Washington

      Great tips on buying educational toys for small kids. I always make sure with each toy I buy that it provides some sort of learning experience.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)