There can be no question that children’s toys have evolved massively over the years.
However, perhaps the biggest thing you can say about children’s toys is that, in more recent times, they have come full circle to a point where traditional, “old school” toys are now among the most popular available. So, knowing that modern toys eventually came to be discarded in favour of original, much-loved ones, what does that tell us about how every toy should be?
This is an obvious one – if a toy isn’t fun then a child is never going to spend any time playing with it, are they?
More to the point, a toy needs to be able to provide a child with hours of fun at a time, if something gets boring after half an hour then can it really be considered to be fun?
When people see the word interactive they immediately think that there must be some sort of digital element involved. Interactive play doesn’t mean that they have to be on a computer, or playing a game on the television – just that they are able to get something out of the toy itself and engage with others with the toy.
Part of that something should always be learning. If a child, particularly at a young age, is not getting anything out of their playtime then what they are playing with needs to be looked at.
Children are encouraged to learn through play from a very young age, with building blocks and shape sorters often among the first toys we will own. Parents, as well as schools and children’s clubs, should ensure that this process continues throughout the child’s formative years.
One great way to help the child develop – as well as save money for the parents – is to ensure that toys are multi-functional. Take a girls doll, for example. That can be a plaything, an imaginary friend, a character in a story, or an alternative to a teddy bear in bed.
If a toy is boring and one-dimensional the child is unlikely to get any real value out of it.
If a child has no emotional connection with a toy, then there is no point to it. You could buy a little boy a remote controlled car, however if he has no interest in them then it makes no difference whether you have bought him an archetypal “boys toy” or not.
Seek to buy toys with real meaning, and a child will value them a lot more.
A Girl for All Time is an online retailer that provides a range of toddler girl toys, including award-winning dolls, novels, and keepsakes.