Gender Specific Toys
Before we begin I would like to remind you that boys and girls are more alike than we think. Though some toys are clearly designed for girls and others are clearly designed for boys, it should come as no surprise that there is a crossover in who actually plays with what. That being said, gender specific toys can make shopping for kids a whole lot easier. Sometimes you have no idea where to start shopping because all you know about a child is his or her gender! Rather than stumble through the aisles of Toys 'R' Us, take some of the advice mentioned here to lead you to the perfect toy for a boy or girl.
Age might not seem that important when buying toys, but it is in fact the single most important factor in shopping for kids. Before you think "boy or girl ," "green or yellow ," "artsy or active ," consider what's age appropriate. Toys intended for 8 year olds often have small pieces, which a younger child could easily swallow, choke on, or lose. Likewise, an 8 year old will not feel challenged (and thus not be entertained) by a 3 year old's toy. Most stores (yep, even the online ones) sort their toys by age group... try searching for boy or girl toys in the 8-10 year old category rather than trying to find something for an 8 year old in the girl category.
Toys for Boys
Boys will be boys (or so they say)...Getting dirty, playing rough, and battling it out are just a few things you might expect from them. Luckily, when it comes to toys, there are a lot of great options to enhance playtime. From action figures , to construction sets ,RC cars , sports toys, and more, there is always something special to make a little boy light up.
Still don't know quite what you're looking for? No worries! We've put together some suggestions and favourites right here. If you're at a total loss, keep in mind things like board games ,play sets ,musical toys ,books , and arts and crafts might also be enjoyable for a particular boy depending on his interests and age.
There is no question about it-- boys love sports. From football to baseball , or simply running round, being active and getting outside is a great way for boys to expend some energy. Athletic toys also provide a great opportunity to spend some time with Junior. A football will keep him busy for hours when you've got work to do, but when you don't, get out there and make some memories!
Boys tend to have a great ability for building things. Why not support his interests and give him a toy that will let him work with his hands? Building and construction sets teach kids to follow instructions, problem solve, and work together. Such sets also make a great parent/child activity. Likewise, model kits are perfect for creating some father-son bonding time. Plus, it is a great toy type to help a boy develop dexterity and patience. Models also teach how to follow instructions. Finally, in the end, a child will be proud of having something to show for all his hard work.
Young minds need inspiration and challenges to keep their interest and to help them learn new things. Discovery kits can also help a child with his school work or develop an interest in something he might be good at. If you're kid isn't into practical science, you can still get him involved. It never fails; give a boy the chance to scare his sister with an RC snake or to gross out his friends with fake vomit and he is all over it! Whether it's a test of his ability to stomach something nasty or the pride attained by grossing out the girls, toys with a yuck factor always score high on a boy's list.
They're buff, they're bad, and they're the perfect pocket-size companion. Hook him up with a play set for the action figure to live in and he has an entire world in which he can pretend to tackle evil enemies, run an army, or command a pirate's ship. If he's getting tired of his action figures, show him where those heroes started! A forever classic of little boys, comic books are fun, entertaining, and help a child use his imagination. Trading cards are a new favourite and have quite a cult following. Again, they are great toys for inspiring a child's creative and intellectual side.
Need for speed? Boys sure have it. Fast toys, whether in the form of a race car , high flying plane, or boat, are great gift ideas. So rather than give Junior keys to a Vette , give him the controller to an RC Lamborghini. Tech toys are continuously able to inspire and amaze little boys as well as the big ones. Robotic toys are the most recent big hit, while mini-adult electronics are a sure-fire hit.
Toys for Girls
Diamonds might be a girl's best friend, but when you're seven, it's best your mother keep the diamonds far from reach until you've grown up a bit. For young girls, especially the girly ones, there are a few key toy essentials that she'll want to have. Below are some suggestions based on the most popular girl toys. Nonetheless, don't forget that girls these days are increasingly interested in things typically thought of as 'boy' toys, such as sports equipment and outdoor games ,science , building or model kits , and RC toys . Also consider board games and musical toys , which are popular gift choices for kids of all ages.
Dolls and doll houses are a classic favourite of little girls. For younger girls, baby dolls are a sure-fire hit, and for older girls, popular fashion dolls are beloved by most. For girls with an interest in collecting, porcelain dolls are the ideal gift. The great thing about dolls is that little girls usually get attached to one or two, so you can buy accessories or doll clothes to keep them entertained (rather than buying new dolls all the time).
Play sets come in all shapes and forms. There are a ton made to supplement a doll or doll house, or if she's the creative type, they can really inspire a child's imagination. There are tea sets for tea parties, mini kitchen sets for the girl that always want to "play house," pet sets ,barbie sets - there's a set for just about anything her little heart can imagine. Play sets are really good for group play, so if the little one has siblings or play dates a set can be a great idea.
Dress up inspires a child to create a new persona and live in a new world, whether she dress up like a princess ,witch , or doctor . This is a great activity to inspire creativity, imagination, and independence in a child. The best part is dress up kits can be store bought or made at home, either will provide hours of entertainment. Whether you root through some of your old clothes and pyjamas or shop around for something fun for a little girl to wear, dress up is hands down one of the best activities for little girls.
Arts and crafts are an essential part of a child's playtime. If she enjoys drawing ,painting ,clay ,knitting , or doing crafts , kits to help a child explore her creative talents are always a good gift. These activities generally require some supervision and clean up, so make sure you know what you're committing to before you buy a kit. This is another good idea for multiple kids (boys and girls alike) because everyone can make their own creation while working together and staying occupied.
Video games are rising in popularity amongst girls especially since there are a slew of games that cater to a female audience. Electronic toys , usually best for older children, are usually oriented around music and can be educational as well as entertaining. Look for games based around their favorite TV shows or musicians - these are a sure-fire hit. Video games for kids often come with an educational component, so it isn't just mindless play; read the game descriptions before choosing to find the best game for your girl.