Toys are fun and educational. In the early years, playing with learning toys is an important form of education- it can help children develop social and intellectual abilities, develop their muscles and physical skills and expand their vocabulary and language skills. So accessing kids’ toys which are educational and appropriate for your child’s age and level of development is not just about making sure they have fun. It’s one of the best things you can do to help your child’s growing brain develop to its full potential.
Toys can be downright expensive and children often outgrow them quickly. Baby toys just aren’t appropriate for toddlers, nor will toys for toddlers satisfy the developing minds of pre-schoolers. On the other hand, educational toys for preschool age kids are probably too advanced to stimulate the minds of younger children. Not all toys for boys will be enjoyable toys for girls and vice versa.
Parents who want to ensure their kids have access to all the right educational toys for their age need to think creatively about where to find toys, so that helping children play productively doesn’t end up breaking the bank. With a bit of know-how you can find good quality cheap toys or even access them for free!
Cheap toys can be found in many places including online toys stores, not for profit toy libraries and toy sales. Op shops and markets are also good places to find new and second hand toys, as well as sell old toys your child has outgrown. Get more ideas for finding cheap toys your child will love.
Want to find free toys for your child to play with? Make the most of toy corners when you’re out and about, ask your friends and family to hand on outgrown toys or set up your own toy library where kids in your area can borrow toys for free. And if you’re facing financial challenges, don’t forget charities can help out with free toys around Christmas time.
Want to make your own toy or game but not sure where to start? Whether you need toys for toddlers, educational toys or baby toys, you can save money by making a toy at home. Get some ideas about homemade toys you and your child can make together.
The right toy for your child depends on their age and level of development. You need to consider safety issues and decide where you stand as a parent on sexualised toys, violent toys and toys which reinforce gender stereotypes. Find out more about choosing age appropriate toys and games for your child.
- Davis SE, Hall NW. 1001 Fun Ways to Play. Gymboree/Weldon Owen. (Book)
- UC Davis Children’s Hospital. Children learn through play. 2006. [cited 4 August 2012] Available from: URL Link