Every child deserves a toy because they help them relate to the real world and develop various life skills. Fortunately, a toy does not have to be new or bought from Wal-Mart to be a good one. Empty boxes, cans and spare parts of old home appliances often become part of a child’s playing tools. Nonetheless, buying a toy for your kid is still a worthy investment and for ideas I always go to StarWalkKids.
Visiting a toy store will leave you spoilt for choice, thanks to the vast collection of toys. So how do you choose the right playing doll, car or rattle for your child? Below are six ways that will help.
5 Tips for Finding & Buying Baby Toys
1. The Age of the Baby
Very few toys are suitable for all ages. What will work for a toddler might not work for a three year old, and will certainly not impress older kids. One feature to consider is the level of complexity of the toy. You may want to ask the store attendants for help if the shop has not categorised the toys by age.
If the children are old enough, you can save yourself some trouble by asking them about the kind of toys they would wish to have. Ask the parent, in case you are buying a gift for your niece or your friend’s baby.
It would have been great if toys were as harmless as the people who use them. Unfortunately, that is not so. Toy-related injuries are common and are sometimes fatal. Some safety features to consider include:
• Size: Toddlers and kids younger than three years old have a penchant for “tasting” everything they touch. It puts them at the risk of swallowing small-sized toys or toy parts. Consequently, the general rule for buying toys for such kids is to keep the toys large. Any toy that can fit into the tube of tissue paper is not suitable for a toddler.
- Materials: Most of the chemicals used to make plastic toys elastic contain toxic chemicals which can be harmful to your kid. Lead and mercury are also common in batteries. You can use the internet to find out more on the toys that are likely to have harmful chemicals.
- Strangulation: Toys with strings or chord longer than 12 inches are strangulation hazards. Ensure the child is old enough before buying a stringed toy. Otherwise, opt for a cordless option.
- Sharp edges and peeling paints: They are common in old or low-quality toys. They are dangerous for toddlers, as they eat whatever their hands touch.
- Magnets: Magnet related injuries have become common. Swallowing two or more magnets causes pinching or blocking of the intestine as they will attract each other.
Weight: A toy should be almost weightless to avoid injuries when it drops on your child’s feet or head.
Well, all kids are destructive at a certain age, which is a good thing since it is how they explore their environment. A good toy, therefore, should be able to withstand the rough tossing and drops.
4. Lights, Music, and Sounds
They may be nice, but they are not the best for a baby’s toy. Most of them are automatic hence does not pique the child’s creativity or satisfy curiosity. As a result, a child quickly loses interest in them.
You do not want your kid to have a toy box full of only dolls of different colours and sizes or a toy store of broken bikes. Opt for what your kid does not have. Variety increases creativity in the child. Finally, remember that you will need to play with your baby often. Therefore, opt for toys that you can play with too.