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- Is This Toy Messy?
This question is completely unrelated to the parents’ concerns. Some parents are comfortable with their children playing with filthy toys, while others are not. If in doubt, err on the side of less messy. This is something to think about for older kids as well! Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty is a favorite in our family, but we seldom offer it as a present because it might harm clothes.
- Is it possible to use this toy in more than one way?
Some toys are so fantastic that they are OK to buy as single-use products, but I try to choose toys that can be used in more than one manner whenever feasible. Keva planks can be used to construct structures and marble runs. They are also enjoyable for children to decorate for art projects. Art materials, like LEGO bricks, can be utilized in a variety of ways.
- How long will a child be able to play with this toy?
Some toys are only worth a year or two of playtime because of the memories, they create, but in general, I search for toys that will develop with the child. Dolls, plush animals, blocks, balls, and building toys have all been used for many years in our house. Magna-Tiles are one of my favorite toys to gift since even if someone already has them, they are delighted to receive a few more. They are simple to clean and will keep everyone entertained, from pre-schoolers to teens and even adults. Many of the items on my list of quiet-down toys for toddlers can also delight older kids! And every parent requires a few toys to help their kid relax.
- Quality Assurance Time: How Well Is It Made?
With four children, I’ve learned the importance of investing in well-made toys. I like to purchase name-brand Magna-Tiles since the magnets are stronger and shatter less quickly than other kinds. I buy name-brand LEGO bricks because I know they will stick together and last for hours of play. When it comes to wooden toys, I like to stick to well-known brands like Hape, who I know finish their items properly and use safe paints and finishes.
- Is this toy suitable for sharing with siblings and friends?
A “no” answer does not suggest that this is a poor toy to purchase; rather, it influences thinking about whether it is the correct item for that child at that moment. My children, for example, have their dolls and stuffed animals that they are not required to share. Other toys, such as our play kitchen, are designed to be shared.
When I’m shopping for a toy that doesn’t play well with others, I attempt to stick with toys that can mix well with others. My children all have their baby dolls, and because they each have one, they spend a lot of time playing with them together. When I buy my children’s Playmobil sets, I try to choose sets that will function well when they build a town with all of their varied pieces.