It is tempting to pick a colourful, inexpensive toy to give a kid, but the tricky part is whether the child will really like it. Kids have different interests, but they share a common interest of liking something that stimulates their senses. The right toy should be age-appropriate to be both fun and safe for them. It should be not only entertaining but also educational and challenging.
Choose open-ended toys
Open-ended toys are toys that can be played with in different ways to stimulate creativity, imagination and logic. For younger children, open-ended toys such as blocks and balls are excellent to give. Balls can be played with by bouncing, throwing, shooting or rolling. Big blocks for kids are helpful in keeping them busy by building different shapes or structures. Lego is another form of an open-ended toy. Dress-ups are ideal for big girls while arts and craft materials are great for bigger children.
Check if it is age-appropriate
Toys should be age-appropriate so that they suit the child’s interest and are safe for them to use. Infants are happy with colourful toys they can squeeze, shake, grasp, bang or drop. You can check a store’s infant section to find a suitable toy. Most toys have labels indicating for which age they are appropriate. Toddlers love things they can push, pull or knock down. They want to discover and learn. For this age, musical toys, ride-on toys and outdoor toys are ideal. For pre-schoolers, bikes, construction toys, play tablets and pretend play sets are excellent. Dolls and action hero figures are ideal for kids aged 5 to 8. Older kids aged 9 to 12 like fast-paced games such as those that stimulate their problem-solving skills.
Look for toys that challenge their mind and senses
Interesting toys require the right amount of challenge to stimulate the senses. A toy should not be too difficult for them because it might end up in frustration. If it stimulates them to think or do something, it helps them learn a new skill that is helpful for their intellectual and motor development. A challenging toy is never boring for kids who like to learn and discover.
Make sure it is safe
Toys with small parts are not ideal for children who still often put things in their mouth because there is always the danger of choking. Some toys are made with toxic chemicals, so buy only from reputable manufacturers who make kid-friendly toys. Check for small parts, sharp edges or harmful chemicals.
Toys can be both helpful and harmful for kids. Taking time to choose toys carefully will help you pick the right ones. To help you decide, think about how the child might play with it. Advertised toys that are popular among kids are not necessarily bad, but they might limit the playing options for kids. Lastly, expensive toys are not necessarily the best toys that kids will surely like. On the contrary, some kids have simple interests that can be met by inexpensive toys such as those from PoundToy.