Our childhood memories are riddled with reminiscences of our favourite toys. Perhaps that’s why, even after growing up, we keep our cuddly teddies, and brawny action figures safely tucked away in the basement. It is only natural that you would want to give your child the same kind of experience as a parent by getting them the perfect toy.
Every year, the sheer number of options available keeps increasing, and you may end up perplexed, wondering which one to pick or how. There are board games, ride-on toys, interactive figurines, STEM toys, etc. But before lunging forward with your search, it is crucial to consider certain factors for choosing the best toy for your child.
Here is a list of five things to consider when buying a toy for your child:
While selecting the perfect toy, you have to consider the age of your child. Children between the ages of two to four years require toys that focus on introducing concepts such as numbers, colours, patterns, etc. Preteens aged between nine to 12 years would prefer more challenging or exhilarating toys such as go-karts, scooters, DIY crafting kits, etc.
In most cases, an age suitability limit would be mentioned on the box cover. In case you’re unsure before buying, feel free to check the given age limit.
Although most toys are perfectly suitable for both boys and girls, it is still worthwhile to consider the gender of the child. Girls aged above seven years may be more inclined towards a mini nail studio that lets them stamp their nails with colourful, designed patterns than a Batman action figure. That said, it is best to go with what most interests your child.
Your child’s safety always comes first. It is of paramount importance to ensure that the toy is safe to play with. For instance, if you are looking for ride-on toys, you will probably want to check the sturdiness of its construction, the grip on the handlebars, the fitting of the wheels, and much more.
If the toy has any audio component, ensure that its volume is not too loud. While playing, children often hold the toy close to their ears. If the sound decibel is too high, it might hurt their hearing.
If your child is susceptible to putting things inside the mouth, it would be wise to avoid anything small and round or long and sharp. Always check the sharpness of the toys’ edges, as sometimes they can be potentially dangerous.
- Material Used
The materials used in making a particular toy are critical deciding factors; they cannot be overlooked. It is akin to buying food items off the shelf. We invariably check the ingredients used and the number of calories per serving.
Any toy made of fabric must be labelled flame resistant or flame retardant. Art materials such as dough, slime, crayons, etc., must be certified as non-toxic. Also, ensure that paints used to colour the toys are lead-free.
- Child’s Interest
Each child is unique in what interests them. Find out what interests your little one the most. It could be painting, stringing together beads to create jewellery using DIY kits, or simply kicking a ball around the backyard. If your child has a favourite cartoon character, you may consider getting him or her character-based action figures, board games, playsets, etc.
If you want to foster a problem-solving attitude, you might want to consider STEM toys. These toys are designed specifically to impart concepts related to science, technology, engineering and maths in a fun and engaging way.
The next time you walk into a toy store, keeping these factors in mind will surely help you get the best for your little one.