It’s that time of year again when we spend an exorbitant amount of money on toys for our children and rush home to surprise them with their gifts. If you’re anything like me, it can be stressful trying to find the perfect present, but after reading this helpful article from Toy Reviewer.
You’ll have all the information you need to make informed decisions about your purchases at any stores or at hearns hobbies. Keep reading to learn 9 things to consider before buying toys for your children this Christmas!
1. Picking the right toy
When you are buying toys for your children, it is important to know what their interests are and what toys might be a good fit. When purchasing new items, always consider the age range and condition. Additionally, think about where you will be storing the toy so it does not get lost or become dirty. Taking these steps before a purchase can help save time and frustration later.
2. Look at safety
One of the most important considerations you can make when buying toys is safety. Yes, it sounds obvious, but many types of toys should be avoided if safety is a concern. If the toy has small parts, buttons, or levers that could come off and pose a choking hazard to small children, then this may not be the best toy choice.
It’s also essential to inspect the plastic material before purchase and make sure that there are no dangerous defects like sharp edges or gaps where foreign objects can get stuck. Sharp edges on toys cause more than 5% of all playground injuries and more than 25% of American homes have at least one child who has suffered some type of unintentional injury while playing with a toy.
3. Think about the child’s age and interests
Consider the child’s age and interests Although many children enjoy toy cars and action figures, an 18-month-old might not have much use for these gifts, while a four-year-old may enjoy them just as much. When considering the interests of your child, don’t feel confined to one category: books make great gifts for preschoolers and kindergartners as well as teens, for example.
4. Watch out for gender stereotypes
A mistake that is often made by well-meaning parents is to assume that girls want dolls and boys want trucks. But in reality, what most children want are toys they can engage with puzzles, stuffed animals, building blocks, and games. Often it’s the parent who wants the toy for themselves!
The problem with buying kids gender-stereotyped toys this holiday season is not just about the money you spend on something your child might have no interest in; there are more subtle implications at play too. It can be confusing when a young girl has an active and adventurous personality but only has access to pretty dolls as playthings.
5. Take into account how much use the toy will get
If you’re on the lookout for a new toy to buy your child this Christmas, then take into account how much they will use it. If you buy them a new toy that they won’t use, then they will just get bored with it quickly and forget about it.
However, if you buy them a toy that is of interest to them and they will play with a lot, they’ll enjoy their gift more and be pleased as punch when they see what’s under the tree on Christmas morning. For example, if your child has expressed an interest in cars or trains, then go with something like Lego products which offer long-term amusement.
6. Think about how long the toy will last
If you are considering purchasing a toy, consider the longevity of the toy as well. Some toys will last only one or two days while others can last up to months. If the toy is small and inexpensive it might not be worth buying if it’s just going to be played with once or twice.
First, think about what type of toy you want to buy. Younger children might enjoy stickers, art sets, or hair accessories while older children might prefer things like building kits, card games, puzzles, and video games. Next, find out how long each type of toy lasts.
7. Will batteries be required?
Most modern toys will run on batteries and these can be an extra expense. Be mindful of this if you are looking to buy any toys this Christmas that need batteries. An investment in rechargeable batteries may be worthwhile if your children will be playing with the toy a lot.
Batteries that are included with the toy may come from China, and there is some controversy about lead content in these batteries, so opting for rechargeable or changeable AA or AAA batteries would be best.
8. Can you buy parts separately?
Whether the toy needs to be assembled or not. If a toy needs to be assembled then there is no guarantee that you will have all the necessary tools and/or time to put it together. Some toys, such as a toddler rocker, can also be quite complicated, while other toys may come with too many pieces that your child may end up struggling with.
If it is designed to work in conjunction with an electronic device (such as an iPad). Does your child have the appropriate app installed on their device? Do they have the appropriate charger? Too often when toys are designed in conjunction with electronics, batteries are never included so make sure you buy them separately and keep extras on hand in case you need them quickly.
9. Do your research!
The last thing you want to do is spend a bunch of money on toys your children won’t play with. The specific toy or game they’ve been asking for. If it’s something they’ve specifically mentioned wanting, go ahead and buy it without them seeing it first.
There is no doubt that if you ask them what their favorite toy is and they don’t mention anything at all, then that’s not the toy you should buy them. Children like surprises, so make sure to surprise them with something different than what they have been asking for all month long!
Safety and fun are the two things that your children will most appreciate in their new toys. Choose toys that are safe to play with at home and enjoy with their friends outside of the house. Remember, there is no perfect toy that fits all needs and if a toy turns out to be a dud don’t despair! Keep looking and you’ll find the perfect gift this Christmas.