The countdown to Christmas is on and there is less than a month left to get your Christmas shopping done. Most parent’s have one thing on their mind: How do I find the perfect toy for my kids? There is nothing worse that spending a lot of money on a toy that you think your little one will love, then they use it once or twice and never play with it again. So what is the answer? How do you find a toy that your kids will want to hang onto forever?
Here are my 5 tips to help you find the perfect toy for your kids:
- Find a toy that will encourage your child to use their imagination: Children are great story tellers. Toys like dolls and action figures allow kids to create imaginary worlds and invent stories for their characters. If this sense of imagination doesn’t come naturally to your child encourage them by helping them with starting points. Read them a book and ask them what they think the character would do next, encourage them to act out these thoughts with their dolls or action figures. Examples of toys: 2013 Holiday Barbie, Thomas and Friends Assorted Toys.
- Look for toys that have more than one function and can grow with your child: This is especially important with young children who can change developmentally so quickly within a matter of months. Looking for toys that have different functions for different milestones will make toys stretch out longer. Toys that can go from sitting to standing to cruising make great gifts for babies ages 0-1. Examples: Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Stride To Ride Puppy, Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Crawl Around Car.
- Purchase toys that you can add onto for future gifts: Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and family friends are always looking for gifts to give for birthdays and Christmas. Toys like train tracks, doll houses and play sets can have dolls, additional vehicles and accessories added on later. Not only is it nice to be able to give gift seekers ideas, it also keeps toys fresh and interesting for kids when new elements are being added to it. Examples: Barbie Dreamhouse, Hot Wheels Triple Track Twister Track Set.
- Hunt down toys that can be played with independently as well as toys that can be played with multiple players: It’s important to teach your children to play independently but it’s equally important to teach your kids to be able to work as a team, play fair and have a good sense of sportsmanship. Puzzles, games of skill, board games and card games are great gifts to help your kids learn these important skills. Examples: Apples to Apples, Uno Card Game, My Fab Puzzle, Toss Across.
- Let kids be involved in picking out their toys: Take your kids to the toy store and see what they are drawn to. When I take my daughter into the toy department she immediately starts telling me what she wants. The problem is she ends up wanting EVERYTHING. This year we had her take a picture with every toy that she wanted. Then we had her look through the toys and narrow down her picks to her top 10, her top 5 and then her top 3. We made the decision from there. Let your kids interact with the toys as much as possible at the store and see which ones hold their attention for the longest. Also observe your children on playdates at other people’s homes and see which toys they go back to again and again and which toys they talk about when they come home. Examples of toys that my kids are drawn to again and again: Imaginext Rescue City Center, Barbie Dreamhouse, Hot Wheels Rapid Fire Semi Truck, Monster High Ghoul’s Alive Dolls.
Tell me… Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to finding Christmas presents for kids that will hold their interest for the long haul? What presents are on your kid’s Christmas wish list this year?
Disclosure: I am part of the Mattel Holiday Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.