There are millions of products that are marketed for kids online and in stores (which doesn’t make shopping easier). Most of the time, it becomes a daunting task for someone who doesn’t have any clue on what to get. You don’t just buy what’s cute and trendy, you need to consider a lot of things such as safety, quality and educational value to name a few.
To help you out, I’ve listed 6 important factors to consider when buying toys for kids.
1. It should be safe and age-appropriate.
In 2014, there have been 251,800 toy-related injuries sustained by children 15 years and younger. Injuries associated with toys include impact, eye and puncture injuries, choking, strangulation and a lot more. That is why when choosing toys, you really have to make sure that it’s appropriate for the receiver’s age. But don’t just rely on what’s written on the packaging, you have to do your own evaluation as well.
Check for sharp edges/points, avoid toys with cords/strings and check for loose parts or screws that can pose danger. Toysafety.org already released their list of this year’s Worst Toys, so make sure to check that out. Also, make sure that the toy your purchased or planning to purchase has not been recalled! You can check it online on CPSC’s website.
2. It should encourage learning.
Toys are meant for fun but it would be better if you give a child the gift of learning too. Invest in toys that can stimulate their brains, enhance their problem-solving skills and critical thinking. If you haven’t heard of STEM toys, these are toys that promote the concepts of science, technology, engineering and math while playing and having fun. You can read more about it here.
3. It should inspire them to get creative.
Kids love to use their imagination, so pick out gifts that will encourage them to be creative. Toys such as building blocks, puzzles, musical instruments, art tools or toy sets for pretend play like their own kitchen set, a cash register, etc.
4. It should encourage the child to get active.
Nowadays, kids as young as 2 already enjoy playing on their tablets or their parents’ mobile phones. Buy toys that will keep them active without compromising their safety.
5. It should be of good quality.
Toys are expensive and expensive toys doesn’t necessarily mean that they are of good quality. Some are just expensive because they carry popular brand names or cartoon characters. Check what the toy is made of and where it is from. Getting to know what the toy is about is very important because some toys have high lead levels and questionable chemicals.
6. It should not promote violence.
Lastly, some toys are linked to violent TV shows and movies which can lead children to imitate these aggressive behaviors. Avoid these types of toys.