Money comes first, see what suits your pocket. Saving money on a toy is like compromising on your child future and overspending on one toy simply does not make sense as there are plenty other toys available that provide excellent value for money. A few pointers to decide how much value actually a toy gives your child:
1) Toys with good moral values
look for toys that impart good moral values to children. Examples- fashion dolls vs baby dolls or traditional dolls, guns and knives vs traditional toy weapons and video games vs board games. Any toy that has a potential to promote violence, aggression or wrong body image would hinder your child’s growth and can fuel in creating insecurities, complexes and bad behavior in kids. Rather toys that act more as a friend, promote social skills, encourage creativity and develop motary and sensory skills are a few considerations one should keep in mind.
2) Toys that challenge your kid
Most educational or activity oriented toys have a recommended age written on them. One should not go accordingly blind folded. Example, some puzzles meant for 5 yrs+ can be easily solved by your 4 year old. Hence, the quest for any parent is to constantly find toys that can challenge the child mentally and physically. Such toys under parental supervision can act as a booster in a child’s growth as long as the parents keep their patience and do not make the child feel pressurised.
3) Toys wardrobe!
A right mix of diverse toys is the most important factor to consider when buying a toy. It’s like your clothes are not all like white shirt and black pants, there is a variety, different clothes for different occasions, different colors so that you don’t get bored wearing the same stuff everyday and the list is never ending. Same is with toys. But it does not mean buying action figurines of all wrestlers for variety! Mold your child’s interest in varied toys like indoor and outdoor toys, board games, role play sets, educational toys, construction kits, cars and the list is pretty long.
4) Understanding your child’s needs
Every child has his/her some standard needs across the globe and then some unique needs as per his/her abilities and grasping power. Some children learn slowly initially then pick up really fast later and in some cases vice versa is also true. Understand your child’s ever changing needs. From learning alphabets to performing complicated scientific activities, from drawing to making working models, from board games like ludo to strategy based board games…. hope you get the drift.
5) Safe and Non toxic Toys
Last but not the least, make sure the toy is Safe and Non-toxic. Most commonly the toys paints and colours that lend the attractiveness to a toy can be the major hazard for a child if the manufacturer of the toy has acted irresponsibly. Other toxic elements can be unsafe chemicals used in production of plastics, and cloth. Ask the retailer about the safety of a toy before you buy. If not satisfied write to the manufacturer. In case you do not get a satisfactory reply, choose another toy. This little extra effort may help preventing undesirable conditions for your child.
With more and more new toys bombarding toy stores it is proving to be a bigger challenge for parents in deciding what to buy and what not to. With limited space for toys in most homes parents are left hanging in this dilemma fearing their child will be left behind his/her peers.
Lot of new jargons like intelligent toys, etc are finding their way in it minds leaving us clueless. A word of advise, no one cares if the toy is intelligent or not, so ease off. Just work towards making your kid smart enough to be confident and independent!
For further reading read the article Selecting a toy- What not to buy!