With millions of toys out there, it can be really hard to find the right one for your child.
Children can have a lot of fun playing with their toys so finding ones that are safe, fun and educational is super important to the development and wellbeing of your young ones.
Each year children are treated in hospital emergency departments for toy-related injuries, ingestions and choking being the most common cause.
The good news is though, we can work in reducing this figure with the right knowledge and awareness.
Learn how to buy the best toys for your children online, and create the safe playing and learning environment they deserve.
1. Choose the right toys for the right age
Labels play an important part in buying kids toys online and help to ensure you’re buying the right toys for the right ages.
Whilst it’s easy to ignore the age recommendations, it’s thoroughly advised you stick to them as they offer vital guidelines on the safety of the toy and whether there’s any possible choking hazards.
Choosing the right toys for the right ages also help in determining whether your child will benefit from the toy from an educational perspective, and their ability to understand how to use it effectively.
As your child’s interests and needs change, it’s essential you find toys suitable for their level.
All good online stores should enable you to browse online by age to ensure you are buying the right toy for your young one to enjoy.
2. Prioritise toy safety
It doesn’t matter how fun a children’s toy may look, if it’s not safe then it shouldn’t even be a consideration.
Age appropriate toys play a huge role in ensuring safety, but you should be looking at more than just the label too.
Warning labels on the products will offer information about how to use the toy and should come complete with a safety check from organisations like Product Safety Australia to help minimise injuries, related to unsafe children’s toys.
Always read the warning labels and product description to determine whether the toy will be safe and suitable for the child you’re buying for online. For example: Toys that are made of fabrics should be labelled as flame resistant.
Careful consideration should be taken when buying cot toys, with strings and wires on the toys kept short and be weary of plastic toys made from thin plastic as they make break easily and injure your child.
If you’re ever unsure about whether the toy will be safe for your child, contact the online toy provider for more information.
3. Discover toys that complement the classroom
I’m a firm believer in buying children’s toys that aren’t just fun, but complement the classroom and actually build skills too.
Children easily become bored of toys that don’t stimulate and challenge them, so think outside the box and learn to discover new toys that work with their current interests, experience and limitations.
On the flip side, children can be discouraged quickly if the toy is too advanced for them.
When searching for children’s toys online, consider ones where your child can not only play and create, but learn and develop as well.
Again, age appropriateness will play a huge part in helping to select something they will benefit from (and enjoy!) Toys that help enhance regular classroom curriculums can actually make school more enjoyable for you child. For example: If your child demonstrates an interest in writing, look for erasable writing toys or opt for building toys for maths assistance.
4. Think large
Especially important if you’re buying for a young baby or toddler, it can be a good idea to ‘think large’ when it comes to buying online toys.
The more toy parts that are larger than you child’s mouth, the better as this reduces the choking hazard for your young ones.
If the toy you’re purchasing is battery-operated, consider how secure the battery compartment is.
You’ll want to look for battery compartments that require a small screwdriver to open and close so there’s no worry of your child getting into it and trying to swallow any smaller parts.
5. Avoid toxic lead paint and materials
Whilst art supplies for children can be a fun and education way to explore the creative side, you need to be careful about the ingredients.
Art materials should be labelled as non toxic, with crayons and paints evaluated against the consumer craft safety guide.
If the toys you are purchasing are painted, make sure they are painted with a lead-free paint.
Product descriptions will ensure you’re buying products that are safe – and if you’re ever unsure, contact the online toy supplier for more information.
How do you make sure you are buying safe toys for your little ones? Please SHARE in the comments below.