Have you ever noticed that the best gifts are ones that kids play with over and over for years? And kids are happy to get them as gifts and play with them! If you’re wondering how to find a meaningful, long-lasting toy gifts to give, here are my specific suggestions.
Share in the comments your toy buying tips or the toys you’re most excited to give this holiday season!
Best Tips for Holiday Toy Gift Giving
I just gave my friend’s son (in most of the photos below) an early Christmas gift that met my holiday toy gift giving criteria. First, he was puzzled at why I was giving him a gift. As he opened the toy and started playing with it, he got more and more excited — totally happy and excited after he got into the play. It was SO fun to watch! You’ll see his joy as you read the article. Talk about a feel good moment for me!!
Same goes for a gift I gave my chiropractor’s son. I gave him the Green Toys Dump Truck last spring because I knew he loves trucks. And when I go to my chiropractor and he’s there as well, his mom thanks me again and again because it’s his favorite toy. I watch him riding on it, sitting in it, pushing it, and piling things in it months later. I consider it a BEST GIFT EVER WIN!
Here’s my first shopping and gift-giving tip — give a toy that is open-ended. In other words, buy a no-battery toy that lets the child play and imagine pretend play scenarios.
An example of an open-ended toy that kids LOVE is the Rescue Boat and Helicopter from Green Toys.
With this super fun toy, kids can fly in the air, navigate the waters, and make the characters have many adventures. It’s a happy-making toy since kids love playing with open-ended toys like this one and it’s really good for their brains.
Because the toy won’t pretend for them. Kids get to do all of the imagining!
Read more about pretend play and the benefits here.
Contrast this to an electronic toy that does everything for the child. For example, there’s a popular toy that is an battery operated dog that barks and walks. What does the kid have to do? Nothing. Just hold the leash. (If the toy were open-ended, a plush dog, the child would be one doing the barking and moving the dogs legs to make it walk.)
2. Good for an Age Range
For my second gift-giving tip, I recommend looking for toys that appeal to not just one specific age but several ages — a range. This means the toy should be a go-to playful pick for many years.
Staying power, right!?
That doesn’t mean you don’t want to rotate your child’s toys. This helps keep things fresh. After a toy was put away for a few months, getting it back out again meant it got more play than ever!
3. Fits Child’s Interets
Consider if the gift fits with the child’s interests. Does he or she love vehicles? dolls? building? cooking?
If you don’t know, maybe you’re shopping for a friend or relative, consider what activities the child already enjoys, favorite books, and that sort of thing.
You’ll want to be sure you’ve checked that you’re buying a toy in the correct age range and that the toy is safe for the child and his or her age. So no weird paint from China (remember the recalls because of that a few years ago?) or tiny parts that will be choking hazards, etc.
I am partial to Green Toys because their products are made out of recycled plastic in the USA with no BPA. This tells me that even if the toy goes in a kids mouth, I don’t have to worry! (And no tiny parts either.)
My last holiday toy giving tip is that the toy needs to appeal to a child — will it bring them joy? Will they like the color, the size, and the theme?
Buy a toy that will develop imaginations, vocabulary, and cooperation skills. Buy a toy that will engage a child for a decent length of time. Buy a toy that you feel good about giving.
I hope these tips helped you as you look for those perfect gifts.
Share in the comments your own toy-buying tips!
Share the toys you’re most excited to give this holiday season!