A toy buyers guide

As parents we want our children to have everything they need, from the right clothes and food, to new toys, good games, education and a healthy and happy lifestyle. We know that we can't control everything in our child's life but the things we can we should take full advantage of, such as buying them good toys and games.

Today you will find a large variety of toys and games piled up in stores and websites, full of vibrant colours, different sizes and of course they range in price. When it comes to buying toys for your toddler and other kids as gifts, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before you commit to it. The first question to ask yourself is; what kinds of role will this particular toy or game play on your child’s development? You should analyse to see if this toy or game will teach them a new skill or concept. Maybe it will help to mould your child’s creativity. But on the flip side, it could also be harmful and glamorise crime and hatred?

The next question you should ask is; what will it teach your child? Does the toy teach any values about the environment, social responsibilities, or community awareness? When you have answered a few of these questions then look at the package carefully to get more information and instructions. Is the toy or game easy to use and is it age appropriate for your child? All toys and games have an age range on the package, this indicates the suitability of a toy to its intended user. You might decide to discard this because all children are not the same and their learning abilities differ from one another. However, it is very important to consider this because it could be dangerous for your child. If your child is an infant, the product may have small parts that could easily be swallowed by your child.

All toys are not made of the same materials so make sure you read the labels. Is the toy your looking at durable and safe? Fabric toys should be flame resistant while stuffed toys should indicate that they are washable, after all they may get dirty and require you to wash them regularly to keep it clean and hygienic. When choosing an art material, make sure it is non-toxic while crayons and paints should have an industry standard certification mark. This symbol ensures that the product has been tested to a high standard and that it is safe for use.

While there are thousands of toys and games to choose from, there are always new toys and games that come out each year. Before you purchase the next toy or game, look at it carefully and give it some thought. Every child should have a toy that they love and use, but you as a parent, should be confident that the toy would add value to your child’s development and teach them new skills. Always buy direct from reputable toy shops, such as Toy Zone.