How to shop for toys

Nearly every guide to selecting toys for children emphasizes these five characteristics of a good toy:

  • Play Value
  • Design
  • Values
  • Quality
  • Appropriateness

When you are picking out toys for children, ask yourself how a toy ranks on each of these qualities.

Play value

Does the toy:

  • Promote good, healthy fun?
  • Teach a new concept or skill?
  • Foster creativity?
  • Link home and school?
  • Create enough interest for the child so he plays with the toy over and over again?


Is the toy:

  • Innovative and original?
  • Making good use of materials?
  • Presented in packaging that supports understanding of the product and how to use it?
  • Visually interesting?
  • Easy to use?


Does the toy promote:

  • Social responsibility?
  • Community awareness?
  • Environmental awareness?


Is the toy:

  • Durable?
  • Safe?
  • Guaranteed?
  • Of high auditory quality (if it make sounds)?


Does the toy fit the child’s:

  • Age?
  • Gender?
  • Abilities?
  • Interests?

Provided By Susan J. Oliver, Tropomedia