Parents feel good — they see their child every day and know what he will like (or think they know). But what if you were invited to visit where there will be a small child, and you know almost nothing about him? Together with the Fisher-Price brand, using the example of the new Linkimals toy line, we figure out what a children’s toy should be, for which parents and children will be grateful to you.
You go to a children’s store, and there is a toy paradise. Especially if you grew up in the nineties and the most sophisticated toy for you was a rainbow-spring. And now the assortment of children’s stores sings, dances, reads poetry in five languages … And how to choose? In short, any toy should be: safe, believable and age appropriate. Trite? Believe me, not everything is so simple.
Step 1: security check
Everyone knows the point, but it’s better to say it out loud once again: the toy should not be a source of danger. A constructor made of small parts or a pyramid painted with low-quality paints are harmless for an adult, but not for a two-year-old child. Buttons, rings, balls and other small parts must be firmly attached to the body of the toy. The same applies to moving parts. If the toy is on wheels, make sure they sit firmly on the rod and are not easy to remove. All seams should be neat, well stitched, without protruding threads and stuffing material.
In short: nothing should stick out / crumble / fall off / be painted, even if you put in some effort.
Step 2: feel, smell, listen
Feeling. Pediatricians advise surrounding children with toys made of different materials — plastic, rubber, rag. This allows the child to discover the world through tactile sensations. Toys can teach the baby to reason not only about the color and size of the object, but also about its other properties. For example, Fisher-Price’s dancing Sloth is made of plastic but with rag paws. So the child feels the difference between «soft» and «hard», «smooth» and «rough», etc.
We sniff. The toy should not smell of anything: a pungent smell is a sign of poor-quality and toxic materials and paints. Ask the store for a certificate of conformity. There will be information about the manufacturer and materials, as well as that the toy has passed hygiene tests.
We listen. Toys should not sound harsh and unpleasant. No hiss, squeak or rattle. In order for an educational toy to really develop speech skills, it must speak clearly, without mistakes and in understandable phrases. Some toys sing lines from popular songs, which is very popular with adults, but children will not understand this. No matter how much you want to give your child a bear singing the best lines of Pugacheva, it’s not worth it. Give the best musical Moose from Fisher-Price’s Linkimals line: he will arrange an educational show for the child with songs, lights and movements.
In short: a child’s toy should make you want to play. She should not cause a desire to hide her away on the mezzanine
Step 3: see what the toy can do
Now you can press the buttons to your heart’s content and see what surprises today’s toys. Of course, you would take everything from the store with you, but your parents expect a useful gift from you. Therefore, choose models with which the child will definitely learn something good. But be careful: not every toy that says «educational» is actually like that. How to understand that this is really an educational toy?
First, it should leave room for imagination. Choose one with which the child can play alone and with adults
Secondly, it will be great if it is a gift not for one week, but at least for a couple of months. Children develop quickly and need variety, so it’s best to choose a toy with multiple functions. For example, toys from the new Linkimals line from the Fisher-Price brand can talk and move, help to master counting and speech skills. But at the same time, the child can play with them in his own way. Let’s say, arrange dances with Sloth, who knows how to move his front paws. Or become the conductor of a home orchestra. Toys of this line can be synchronized with each other. And then it is no longer just a musical Hedgehog, a dancing Sloth and a singing Elk, but a real show in which a child can be both just a spectator and a participant. In short: children need variety, and their parents need a toy for more than one day.