- Family and Parenting
How to Choose Toys for Little Kids
It is always a beautiful sight to see small children at play. We see them run around with their favorite toys, playing with it and with other kids as well. But the big question is are we giving them the most appropriate toys for their age?
Especially with toddlers, it’s very important that we take extra care in choosing their toys. It’s because their minds are still very young and in the early stages of development that the choice of play things is an important factor in accelerating their development.
So to help you with selecting the best toys for little kids, here are some tips and reminders.
1. Are the toys appropriate for their age?
All toy manufacturers and retailers are required by law to indicate in the packaging the appropriate age level that should be playing with the product. Especially with children below three years old, this is the age when they would try to put into their mouths almost anything that they can grab. That’s why we see the warning ‘choking hazard’ on some toy packages.
This also applies to the level of playing difficulty. For example, some building blocks may not be playable for smaller children. On the other hand, an older child may get easily bored with rattles.
That’s why it’s important to first check the suggested age group for the toy you’re planning to purchase.
2. Is the toy safe?
A few years ago, there has been a scare when it was discovered that some unscrupulous toy manufacturers are still using lead in the paint of the toys they are making. Lead is dangerous because it can affect the mental development of children.
When it comes to art materials, check if these are labeled non-toxic.
Another thing you should be looking for written on a toy packaging is if it’s flame resistant or flame retardant. This is just an extra precautionary measure.
3. Is the toy durable and of good quality?
What good is a toy if a child can easily break it? Most of the time you can easily gauge the quality of the toy just by picking it up and giving it a quick look. It’s build quality should be obvious to you that it should feel sturdy and that there are no loose parts. Consider getting some wooden toys for children as these are usually well-made and can often even last for years.
4. Does the toy improve the child’s problem-solving skills?
Probably the best kind of toy is one that does not only provide hours of playtime, but that it also help improve the child’s thinking and problem-solving skills. Think of puzzles, blocks, picture boards, game boards, abacus, and more. These toys should be easy enough so the kids can figure them out without too much assistance from their parents.
5. Does the toy encourage your child to imagine?
All children have great imagination that’s why they love doing pretend plays. Look for toys that help children explore their imagination. Some of these toys are dolls and doll houses, building blocks, work bench, toy cars, cooking sets, and play sets.
6. Does it inspire them to be creative?
Unleash the artist in your child. There are many toys that allow a child to be creative by helping them make their own little works of art. Get your child a box of crayons and a few pieces of paper then step back and watch they draw and color. You can also join in the fun by doing some finger painting with your kid. You can also buy your child a musical instrument and see if he or she would be able to play a tune or two.
7. Does the toy let them become active?
Children normally love to run around and be active. It’s in their nature. So buy them toys that will keep them moving around the house. Think of toys like a ball, a basketball hoop, pull alongs and ride ons, gardening tools, and some boxes that they can move around. These toys will give them a good round of exercise while keeping them happy at play.
Now choose wisely!
There are thousands of toys that you can choose from for your kids, but always keep in mind that there should be a purpose with each toy. It’s not enough that a toy is fun to play with, but it should be contributing to the development of your little one’s mind and social and skills.