When an adult works, they use certain tools of the trade. For your child, their work is their play. You need tools to do your job correctly, and your children need appropriate toys as well. Their toys are their tools. So how do you figure out if a toy is valuable and fulfilling its purpose? After all, they are not created equally.
When choosing toys for your child, have you ever thought about going through a mental list of questions during your contemplation? We're going to show you a collection of factors you may want to consider while figuring out whether or not to buy a specific toy for your child.
Read on to learn about our top eight characteristics that make a toy great.
IT MUST BE FUN
One would think this goes without saying, but here it is. It's pointless to buy a toy if it's not going to be any fun. This is the ultimate test of whether or not a toy is worth the substantial amount of money you're probably going to spend on it.
IT SHOULD BE EASY TO STORE
Did you have a toy box as a child? Remember what the inside of it looked like? Is the toy you are considering going to take up massive space? Will it store easily? Particularly if you live in cramped quarters, this could make a big difference.
IT MAKES NOISE (MAYBE) AND IS AESTHETICALLY APPEALING
Take a good look at that toy. Would you want to play with it? Granted, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and your child will be the final judge. Nonetheless, scary toys or ugly dolls don't need to come home with you.
While a toy that makes noise is appealing to a child, it can also be annoying to an adult and the rest of the household. Give careful consideration to toys that make noise.
IT SHOULD BE EDUCATIONAL
Sure, it's got to be fun, but if your child can learn something from playing with a toy, even better. It doesn't have to scream 123's or ABC's, but for integrating learning, it gets bonus points.
IT SHOULD BE STURDY, DURABLE, AND LONG-LASTING
Especially if your kids are hard on toys – and most of them are – you'll want this one to be sturdy and durable. Can it take a beating? Additionally, is it versatile? Can it be used for more than what it was originally intended for? Will it grow with your child, and continue to be useful and fun?
IT SHOULD BE ENGAGING OR ENTERTAINING
While your child watches, does this toy do nothing more than entertain? Or does it encourage play by engaging your child?
IT SHOULD BE OPEN-ENDED AND AGE APPROPRIATE
Does this toy encourage imagination, exploration, decision-making, problem-solving, creativity, and more?
Regarding age appropriateness, different children mature at various rates. You know your child better than anyone else. Though a child may be within the age-appropriate category mentioned on the package, it may not apply specifically to all children of that age. They may be bored, or it may be over their heads.
Finally, the biggest, most crucial category of them all…
IT SHOULD BE SAFE FOR CHILDREN
Look carefully at a toy before buying it. Does it present a choking hazard? Does it have pointy, sharp edges? Is it smoothly sanded? These questions and more should be of concern regarding the safety of the toy and your child when they play with it.
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