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Toy Buying Basics Guide

Here you can buy toys with confidence, gain insight about what's right for your kids, and learn more about toy safety, an important issue on everyone's mind these days.  

Safety First

  • Check warning labels.  They are there for a reason!  The label usually warns you if a toy comes with small parts that may be a choking hazard to young children; electric toys also come with warning labels.
  • Check for sharp edges and points.  This is particularly important for younger children, who tend to put toys near their mouths and eyes.  There is also the danger of falling on top of a toy, which could cause injury.
  • Check to see if the toy has cords or strings attached.  Be careful that the cords are not too long, as there is always the danger of the cord getting entangled and posing a strangulation hazard to a child.
  • Make sure the toy is sturdy and strong.  You will want strength in the material of a toy; if it accidentally falls and breaks, you will want to be sure that the toy will not leave rough, shattered edges. 
  • Make sure that the toy is not too loud.  If the toy is sound-enabled, check to see that the noise levels are tolerable.  Loud toys can permanently damage the sensitive hearing of young children.
  • Make sure the toy is non-toxic.  You will want to be very sure that the toys were not constructed with any toxic materials or contain any toxic chemicals.  For toys containing any kind of liquid, check the labels to see that they are safe in case of accidental ingestion.
  • Make sure that the toy has not been recalled.  Be aware of the news and do some research before your purchase to make sure that there are no problems with the toy. 

Age Appropriateness

  • BabiesKnow that toys for infants often appeal to the senses, particularly sight, sound, and touch.  This is why so many baby toys are bright, textured, and noisy. 
  • ToddlersThis age is full of energy and curiosity.  Toys that appeal to toddlers are those that allow them to explore and discover new concepts, whether it be pushing, pulling, or emptying and filling.
  • PreschoolersThese youngsters enjoy toys that spark their imaginations and give them a little bit of a challenge.  The options here are endless!
  • Ages 5-7Kids are very curious at this age and they want to explore, invent, and conquer.  They enjoy a wide variety of games that allow them to develop their imaginations even further.

Related Guides 

Browse through some of our other guides for even more information about the best toys out there! 

Age Specific Toys

Award Winning Toys

Educational Toys

Kids' Electronic Toys

Popular Kids' Characters