Don't Buy That Toy! Parents' Choice Foundation Reveals the Top 5 Mistakes Parents Make when Buying Toys

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Before the last gift is unwrapped, toys will be lying on the floor discarded, leaving parents to wonder: "What happened?" To help make the holidays the best for both gifter and giftee, Parents' Choice has outlined the top 5 mistakes people make when purchasing toys and offers suggestions to avoid them.

With apologies to all grammarians, the best toys beg to be played with, not stared at.

Before the last gift is unwrapped, toys will be lying on the floor discarded, leaving parents to wonder: "What happened?"

According to Claire Green, President of Parents' Choice Foundation http://www.parentschoice.org, parents and other gift givers often succumb to hype and marketing, peer pressure and their own childhood holiday preferences. To help make the holidays the best for both gifter and giftee, Parents' Choice has outlined the top 5 mistakes people make when purchasing toys and offers suggestions to avoid them.

Top 5 Mistakes Made When Buying Toys and How To Avoid Them

1. Buying A Toy That Your Child Would Happily Exchange For A Trip To The Dentist

"Kids want toys that are fun," says Green. Buying a toy packaged with exclamations of making a child smarter and smarter-faster is not a reason to buy a toy. "There are plenty of toys that are fun and educational, so both parent and child will be happy."

2. Buying The Toy You Always Wanted, But Never Had

"Avoid buying your child the toy that you always wanted but never had," advises Green. "Tuning into the child's interests will encourage additional playtime."

3. The "Goldilocks" Syndrome Of Toy Buying

"Don't purchase a toy that is developmentally too old for a young child or developmentally too young for an older child. Purchase the toy that is just right for the child's age," says Green. Children need age appropriate toys. Toys and games need to make sense in a child's world. If it's too easy, a child will quickly become bored; too difficult and a child will become frustrated. Just right, and they'll play well and in many ways," added Green.

4. Buying The "Keeping Up With the Joneses" Toy

"Many terrific toys are fairly and reasonably priced. You shouldn't have to get a bank loan to buy your child a wonderful toy." Checking websites such as Parents' Choice Foundation can help gift givers choose by age, areas of interest or price.

5. Buying The Toy That Does Too Much

"When a toy does everything for a child, the child just watches it work," says Green. " With apologies to all grammarians, the best toys beg to be played with, not stared at."

Since 1978, Parents' Choice Foundation has championed the importance of good toys, and for the time to play with them. Shoppers can't go wrong following the criteria for What Makes A Good Toy, published by Parents' Choice more than twenty years ago.

1.A good toy can be played with in many ways.

2.A good toy challenges a child to do, think or feel.

3.A good toy contributes to the development of a child's physical, mental, social, and emotional skills.

4.A good toy is attractive and well made, with pleasing shapes, colors, textures, or sounds.

5.A good toy is fun and fits a child's talents, interests, abilities, and size.

6.A good toy fits in with your own tastes, knowledge, and pocketbook.

7.A good toy is safe.

© Parents' Choice Foundation

About Parents' Choice Foundation

Established in 1978, Parents' Choice is the nation's oldest independent nonprofit guide to quality children's media and toys.

Identifying the best products for children of different ages, backgrounds, skills and interests, the Parents' Choice Awards program recommends products that help kids grow - imaginatively, physically, morally and mentally - fairly priced products that are fun, safe and socially sound.

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CLAIRE GREEN
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