Blink—And They're Grown

Parents, Families and Child Care

Toy Shopping Checklist

The holidays are just around the corner and parents are making a list and checking it twice. Here are some questions to as before you buy a toy for your child. If you answer yes to most of them, the toy is probably a good purchase.

  • Is the toy safe for my child’s age? 
  • Will my child be interested enough to play with it over and over again? For several minutes or even an hour at a time? 
  • Is it constructed well? Will it hold up to lots of use? 
  • Does the power and the imagination to operate the toy come from my child? 
  • Will my child feel successful when using the toy? Does it challenge my child’s abilities just enough? 
  • Can the toy grow with my child? Will it still be appealing in a year? For several years? 
  • Can my child use the toy in different ways? Can it be used creatively? 
  • Will it help my child learn about other people, nature, or how things work? 

A complete brochure (Toys, Tools for Learning) is available from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Web site:

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