With the holiday season right around the corner, parents will be rushing to the stores to find the perfect gift to put smiles on their children’s faces. The problem is that there are literally thousands of toys lining store shelves, which can make choosing the perfect toy quite challenging.
However, by following some general principles parents can develop a much clearer understanding about what makes a good toy. With the right information, you will be able to pick suitable toys from the many options being made available by retailers this year.
Understanding How Children Play
The first thing to understand is that kids play differently. Some lead, some follow, and that’s okay. Either way, it is a child’s “job” to play. While they play, children are learning critical skills that help them discover who they are as individuals, build relationships with others, and develop knowledge that will be crucial in the real world. Good toys play an important part in helping kids have amazing experiences and shaping your child’s development.
Before choosing a toy for your child, it’s important to understand that there are typically two types of toys for two types of play:
Some kids like to take charge in their play. They want to be in control, make all the rules, and guide all the characters. This is what’s known as directorial play.
Children who enjoy directional play will be attracted to role play toys such as dollhouses.
Little Friends Toys by HABA let’s children direct all the play. They tell the story. They move the characters. They create the world in which the dollhouse or farm exists. Parents love this option for their children for the following reasons:
The flexible characters can be posed (and easily cleaned!)
With both Dollhouse, Veterinarian and Farm Themes you can help stimulate your child’s imagination
The accessories are full of detail that lends to better storytelling.
Some kids, however, don’t feel the need to be in charge. They would rather be a character than oversee all the characters. They don’t need to make the rules. They just want everyone to follow the rules.
Their role play takes flight with dress-up and tents where they can immerse themselves into the story.
For parents looking to choose the perfect toys for an upcoming birthday or holiday, you should think about what types of toys your children like to play with today. This will tell you everything you need to know about how they like to play and how to choose their next favorite toy.
Here is a simple guideline for choosing a toy from the HABA collection:
Directorial Play: Little Friends, Baby Dolls, any toy with a Storytelling Element
Participatory Play: Tents, Board Games, “Friend” Dolls, Sand Toys
Both: Kullerbü, Blocks, Puppets, Terra Kids, Hubelino
In addition to being safe, good toys need to match the different stages of your child’s development and emerging abilities (especially for young children). Whatever toys you decide on, be sure to choose your options based on durability, pricing, safety, educational value, and, of course, fun!