Toys*! Why do we buy toys* for our children? Part 2 of 3. (how do you decide what toys to purchase for your infants and toddlers?)
Why do we buy toys* for our children?As parents, practically, you don’t need a reason to buy a toy. But is it the correct way?
Please also read Do children need a room full of toys? Rethink.
No, it is not. We cross by the shop and we buy a toy because our child likes those building blocks or cars.
Part 2 of 3
Here we can list the mindset of parents, while purchasing toy or games:
- Purpose: While purchasing or choosing from a collection of toys*, one should always remember the difference between a toy with no objective and a toy serving an objective. An objective oriented toy will stimulate the senses in a child, giving a chance to explore things around. Example: if your child likes cars or teddy bear, making a collection of the same will not stimulate the senses in the child.
- Value for Money: With prices for many toys being high because of an associated “brand” value, it is wise to see if the toy really is worth the money paid in terms of entertainment or learning for the child. Check if the toy is relevant for an age as well as cultural perspective. Example: the same kind of board games are offered by many companies. If the packaging or the brand name is making the difference in price, please choose wisely.
- Simple Toys: In the era of digitization, toys are getting more confusing and complex day by day. The golden rule for young children – the simpler it is, the more likely that they will enjoy it. Complex toys could potentially confuse the child by giving too many inputs simultaneously. So, keep it simple yet challenging.
- Appeal: Fancy super colorful and filled with imagery could hit the eyes initially, but children are likely to just ignore all this after a couple of times of playing with it. Example: Kinder joy, children buy this chocolate for the excitement of getting the tiny attractions in the package, they play with it, for some time. Then it goes to some corner of the toy box. What will excite them, is the challenge. Classic examples are tops like bey-blades & fidget spinners. This catches the fancy of all older children, because they enjoy the challenges that these toys pose. For the younger children, wooden blocks/toys score really high on this factor of appeal.
- Age Appropriate: Many a time when the toy is bought, it has all the features that an individual is looking for, but somehow it has not taken the child’s fancy fully. Usually the reason for this is that it may not be age appropriate. In the initial years, every phase for a child is critical, and every age group has some milestones to be fulfilled. So if the toy bought for the child is not appropriate to his or her age, he or she will either: (a) get bored fast if the toy is below their age, or (b) they may get irritated if the toy’s complexity is too much for them to handle. It is always wise to match children’s age to the appropriate toys to make their time joyful and interesting.
- Safety: For obvious reasons safety is the greatest concern. Sometimes a child puts a toy in his or her month to explore and understand more about it. Unaware of any dangers due to sharp corners, the paint used on the toy, they choose to experiment with the toy. Keeping all this in mind it is necessary to look for preferably CE certified ones or the ones you have checked and assured keeping all the above points in mind.
- Battery Operated Toys: Battery operated toys are made up of typically metal or plastic. These will obviously need periodic battery replacing. This is not environmentally friendly both in terms of the battery as well as the outer metal/ plastic case. Battery operated toys* also tend to take away the manual element in toys which young children need. Pressing buttons to move cars is less preferable to moving the car around manually. They also need a constant supply of batteries to work.
- Discovery and Exploration: While purchasing a toy, ensure it provides ample opportunities to explore and discover. When children start to discover different ways of playing with the toy, then they learn a lot while playing.
Buying specific toys for kids depends on kids interest & toy advantage to the kid growing age.
As a parent I would have always decided to buy educational toys & games for my kids which can enhance their learning skills & motivate them to get social as well.
Hope these points are of some use to you. Please mention in comments box, your mindset for buying toys.
A Happy childhood is the most precious gift we can give to our child.