What to Look for When Buying a Toy for a Child

Toys are fun but there is a serious side to buying toys for children. They can be used for multiple functions, such as boosting creativity and as a medium of social interaction. As parents, there is an expectation that we should consider more than the immediate appeal of a toy to a child. Here is what you should look for when buying a toy for a child.


Many items that we buy in the shops today show shoddy workmanship. Buttons come off shirts the first time you put them on. A brand-new fridge has a scratch on it. Although not everything we buy is a long-term investment, nevertheless, we expect it to last for a reasonable time to justify its price. There is nothing worse than a child receiving a birthday gift that is broken before the day is out because it couldn’t withstand the rigors of children at play.

Safety First

Look for warning labels and age restrictions. Don’t buy toddlers toys with small parts that they can put in their mouths and accidentally swallow, because this is exactly what every baby or young child will do. They learn initially by tasting everything.

Choose products made with organic materials that are free from lead and other toxic substances which could cause health problems or even a fatality. Check that there are no rough edges or loose parts.

The Consumer Watchdog has put together a list of the 10 most hazardous toys. You can get advice from an attorney for children’s products if your child has been injured or worse due to a defective or dangerous toy.


Toys should encourage children to use their imaginations. Fancy train sets with all the whistles and bells do not engage children in creative play. Usually, it is the simplest toys that stand the test of time. Some of the best toys for boosting creativity are building blocks, play dough with accessories (cookie cutters, rolling pin, and stamps), Lego, puzzles, musical instruments, puppets, train tracks, and gardening sets for kids. The best toys will absorb kids for hours and have them making up their own stories and dialogues.

Learn While They Play

One of the most important skills children need to develop is fine motor skills so that they can tie their shoelaces, pick up small objects, and write. For example, doing a puzzle requires the child to pick up a shape and position it accurately. Their motor skills can be developed through rope ladders, and this will ensure that they get some physical activity too during play sessions. Educational toys should be matched to the age or stage of the child.

Age Appropriate

Toys that are for an older child will frustrate a younger one who does not yet have the skills to complete a puzzle at that level, for example. On the other hand, if the toy is meant for a child of four and you give it to a child of seven, it will be used once, at the most, before being tossed aside.

Put thought into buying toys for your children and they will reap the benefits.