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Child Development Topics..

You are here : home > Child Development > Related Articles for Child Development > Picking the Right Toy can be Tricky

Picking the Right Toy can be Tricky

Children's need to play has lead to the development of a booming toy industry.Children often know what is best for them and that we as a parent should take the trouble to observe what they really want and need.

My child doesn't play with his toys

Children's need to play has lead to the development of a booming toy industry. Today, parents are confronted with a bewildering array of toys, each more interesting and well-packaged than the other. As a result, they inevitably end up spending quite a bit of money trying to make their children happy. However, they often find, to their surprise, that the child may not be quite as enthusiastic about his new possession as they thought. After a casual glance or a bang, he may not show any interest at all. 

I recently bought a little Snoopy dog for Rs .300. Although it is sturdy and attractive my one-year-old son does not admire it at all. We also bought an expensive squeeze toy, again with disappointing results, although toy manufacturers claim it helps in hand co-ordination and grasp. But, my child is really not interested in it.

My child prefers to play with old and used things 

On the other hand, he is more excited by used plastic shampoo bottles, kitchen items like spoons, egg beaters, pens, soap boxes, biscuit wrappers, cello-tape roll, woolen threads, scissors and just about any thing he can get his hands on. Some of these are discarded items, which will find their way into the dustbin. I was wondering why I should waste hundreds of rupees on toys that create no interest at all. Perhaps, child psychologists could explore this topic further! I checked with a couple of other parents to know whether this is true of their children also. I found that they also had often bought expensive toys, sometimes with no encouraging results.

The practical approach

Certainly, all these toy companies must have put in lot of effort and money to create newer and newer toys every year. They will also be disheartened to hear about it. According to psychologists, toys are not just playthings but are supposed to aid mental growth and development. This is especially true for children between the ages of six months to three years. There are now toys suitable for one-day-old children to 12-year-old children in the market. However, I feel that by sheer common sense we can infer a few things from our children's behavior.

First, the child requires some thing that he can easily manipulate and handle. Soap boxes, shampoo bottles, biscuit wrappers, etc. all fall into that category. Yes, may be they are not toys in the strictest sense, but the children are quite happy playing with them. The Snoopy dog that I brought is certainly heavy. 

Second, in my opinion, the children may be unable to relate to many of the toys as they are not inherently Indian, but draw their inspiration from the West.  

There may be another compelling reason. When children throw or bang expensive toys on the floor or walls, we try to prevent them from doing so either because it is costly or because we want them to know that it's expensive. Some parents even lock such expensive toys inside cupboards. That is why we find so many toys intact in houses where children have grown up. 

Most often I find that toys made by little known or small-scale units become favourites of our children. Anyway, this piece is not intended to discourage any discerning parent from buying toys made by multinationals or to prove that locally made toys excite children more than others do. But this is only to remind parents that children often know what is best for them and that we should take the trouble to observe what they really want and need.

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.7 years ago
Good article, true to life
maya.7 years ago
The best way to tackle this situation is to take membership in a toy library, where you can rent toys and see if the kid like to play with it. Exchange this toy when the child is bored of it. This way the child will have a variety of toys to play with and you hardly invest anything, moreover there is no clutter around the house. We have a toy library in Hyderabad, named Rentoys, offering variety of toys for kids of age 0-6 yrs. the web address is
Jayachandran.8 years ago
yes, you are absolutely son also like playing with household items like soap boxes, finished powder tins, pens , even news paper.
this sort of items helps the kid to enjoy his time as the way he likes as we dont interfere with don'ts.
zahia.8 years ago
my one year old son likes to play with the hoover, the broom, and the bathroom chair. he does not give any attention to his toys.
gautami k.8 years ago
i feel toys r very important for childs brain stimulation. it keeps their brain busy. but they r very inquisitive about life itself so u cant expect them to play with 1 toy for months.i have seen quiet transition in my sons preferences. he is little more than 2. he liked mecano , building train building, then he started making tea as he sees me doing. now he is liking to see pictures from book and tries to read or just babbles as if he is reading.
i feel they explore things near them and wanna know as much they can.i perticularly avoid very costly toy as it surely does not impress kid for very long and later u feel it is all waste.
Reddy.8 years ago
very true. my son is 9 months old and only prefers to play with spoons and clips. amazing article. good job.
sue.8 years ago
my daughter plays with both toys and plastics, paper and so on. i have read somewhere that the child expresses their curiosity by touching and hearing sounds. so, while as an adult we get a head-ache, the child is learning the different sounds by banging different things on the floor, table, etc. toys are great but they could also be overwhelming by their color-brightness, too many sounds and so on. let your child play with whatever he or she is comfortable with and they will go to toys when they are ready. this has been my experience so far.
Ranj.8 years ago
parents buy expensive toys to their children, throw lavish birthday parties on the child's 1st or 2nd birthday! is this for the child really? or to flaunt the status of parents? when we were children, most of us would've had 1 or 2 favourite toys, because we had only that 1 or 2. i dont mean to say that parents should not buy many toys, but must be judicial in what (and how many) they buy for the child.
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