You have no items in your shopping cart.
Toys, Toys Toys. So How Can You Choose The Best?
- Gaynor Humphrey
Buying the right toy for a toddler should be easy but when faced with such a wide choice how can you chose one they like?
Toddlers love to explore. They are in to everything and they are extremely curious about the world around them. Play is an important part of learning about life during this time as it gives children the chance to develop and practice new skills. This means that the toys that a child plays with most during this important time will be a great way to help their development.
But toddlers are not going to like a toy because of its potential educational benefits. They want something with instant appeal, and something they can play with straight away.
So how can you choose the right toy?
These are hints and tips - we're a toy shop rather than an educational specialist but this is just our take on what makes a successful toy
1. Toys that will grow with your child will last longer. For example our nursery rhyme dolls are great for small children because they are tactile and soft like a teddy bear, but as the child gets older they can also be used in pretend games, and they can be great when you start reading books together.
2. If its your child then look for toys that you will enjoy playing with too! Your child will always prefer a toy that you are happy to play with with them, so if jigsaws leave you cold but you have always loved playing with cars then choose the cars! A toy which makes it easier for people to play together is always going to be a favourite.
3. Toys that are like everyday things. Everyone knows that kids love to imitate their parents, so look for toys that will help them do this. Vegetable rattles are great because they are good both for shopping games and cooking ones. Cars and buses are also another good one for this. Anything which the child has contact with on a daily basis.
So are there any toys to avoid?
We are not great fans of toys whose appeal is based on sounds and lights.
It seems that most toddler toys these days are ablaze with electronic stimulus. Push here, click there! They always seem to be labelled educational or developmental, but we cannot see how these toys can aid the development of a toddler.
It can be very confusing for a child if they do not understand why a toy makes a sound, especially if it randomly makes a sound or flashes to attract the child's attention. Also if the toy happily produces noise/light without the child having to do anything then it becomes something to watch rather than interact with! We feel that for a toy to be educational or developmental it should require the child to do as much as possible themselves. The more children have to use their minds and bodies to make something work, the more they learn.
How about toys that claim to make babies more intelligent?
Ummmm, not sure how a toy can do this! As they say, the mind is a muscle and the more it gets used the stronger it is. So for a toy to increase intelligence then it requires the child to problem solve and this will require your help. Most children will soon get bored and frustrated on their own if they can't understand how to work something and will need close supervision to ensure that they are happy. So perhaps we should say that that the best toy for developing intelligence is one that you like to play with as much as they do!