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How to pick a toy?

Christmas is around the corner, toy departments are filling up, and we can easily be lost in this profusion of toys! The right toy will develop your child's sense of curiosity, creativity and imagination. It can also support your child in developing their physical, mental and social skills.

To help you find your way in the stores, here are 4 questions you should ask yourself before buying a game or a toy.

  • Is this game safe and age appropriate?

Most games are recommended for children a certain age to avoid using them in the wrong way. Some games have small parts that a young child could swallow, some are too difficult to understand or to realise if offered too soon and could cause the child to dislike them or even feel bad for failing, the content of other toys like books, movies or video games isn't adapted to everyone and could upset or scare children who are too young. Before gifting a stuffed animal or a plastic or wooden toy, make sur that every single part is well attached, that battery compartment is secure and difficult to reach, etc.

  • Is this toy durable?

Is it washable, does it seem sturdy enough to resist a few months or years of heavy use? Will your child still use it in 6 months or in a year?

  • Is it a flexible toy?

Can it be played with and used in multiple ways, in different contexts, alone or with one ou more children? Toys that can be used in more than one way promote your child's creativity and imagination.

  • Is it engaging rather than entertaining?

Ask yourself this question before you buy an ''interactive'' game. Simply pushing a button to obtain a sound or some light doesn't allow your child to be active. If the toy works more than your child, just walk away and find a game that will require from your child some sort of physical, mental or creative investment.

Remember, YOU are your child's favorite toy! It's from you they learn the most! So spend some time with them, read, play, create stories together, Take them to the library, museum, zoo, swimming pool, go for a walk together... You don't need to buy only ''physical'' gifts, you can also gift your child with quality moments!

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