Toys are a big part of any childhood. And if we don’t choose toys wisely, we keep on spending a fortune on it and then wonder why kids don’t play with it after a couple of days or a week. First questions to ask ourselves when buying any new toy, Is this toy going to serve my child any purpose? Is it worth the money that we as parents are putting in the new toy? Can this toy be used by my child’s sibling ? Will my child enjoy playing with it or it would just add to the clutter after a few days? Does this toy has any educational value in it?
So choosing toys can be really intimidating , but today I want to share my take on it and what worked for us.
- The most important factor for choosing toys is the Age of the child who will play with the toy.
The toys that are designed for toddlers may not be suitable and even safe for infants and vice versa. The toys should be in the range of the developmental stage that our child is going through. It should match their capabilities and should be able to manipulate with the toy easily. If the toy is too advanced for the child ,it may result in frustration and boredom very quickly. Also ,if the toy is too easy or below their abilities, the child will be able to finish playing with it very quickly and get bored with it. It may result in not wanting to play with the toy again.
- The second most important factor is taking into consideration Child’s Interests.
The toys that are chosen based on the child’s interests will probably engage the child for more time. The child will be more interested and more engaged in the process of playing and manipulating the toys. Infact everything we choose should be child led ,and should match their current interest. That doesn’t mean you should go out 4 times a month to buy new toys. The point here I want to make is buy toys that will be cherished for a long time and can keep the child’s interest for long.
- Is the new toy helping my child learn new skills or Is it an educational toy?
I am very picky when it comes to toys, and this point tops my priority. I don’t want any toy coming into our home just for the sake of it. I want it to have some value and It must be teaching something essential that my child will benefit from. I choose toys that teach different types of skills and can be manipulated into various different activities. I don’t like to use one thing for only that purpose, which was meant it to be. But I like to change, make it work for different activities as well that serve different purpose. The toys that I look for in this category should serve the skills that help my child in logical thinking, problem solving, motor skills development, enhancing creativity, cognitive skills development and many more.
- Are the toys Open Ended Materials?
I am a huge believer in toys being “open-ended” and easy to manipulate according to our needs. Open ended materials are things which can be manipulated into different things. The child can imagine into and pretend with these materials. It can be as simple as a ball. Open ended toys work on different developmental skills of the child at the same time. Most of the open ended toys are very tactile and sensory toys. Open ended toys are much more creative and free to imagine them into something very different.
I’d like to keep this conversation open, so give me your thoughts and experiences about the same in the comments below. And if you think this read could help somebody, please feel free to share.