How to Buy Preschool Toys

Preschool toys can be as simple as a set of blocks or as electronically advanced as a handheld learning game. Parents and caregivers should focus on toys that foster open-ended play, creativity, and cognitive development. Whichever route you take, preschool toys should be well built, age appropriate and developmentally supportive. Use these steps to buy preschool toys.


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    Start with your child's interests. Is there a fascination with trains, princesses, or ponies? Whatever they are, talk about the most will likely keep their attention the longest.
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    Engross your child in music. Children's CDs can be found that are enjoyable for both parents and children, and research indicates that exposure to a variety of (age-appropriate) music feeds creativity later in life.
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    Look for quality preschool toys that will stand up to repeated use. For example, choosing wooden blocks over flimsy cardboard blocks will require more of an upfront investment, but prevent the possibility of having to purchase another set after the first set has been broken.
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    Select dress-up items that feed your child's desire to pretend to be another person. This opportunity is important as it provides the building block for empathy by viewing situations from another perspective. The best time to buy these types of preschool toys is around Halloween.
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    Provide for preschoolers active play with a variety of balls and a tricycle. A swing or slide can provide hours of enjoyment.
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    Ensure proper fine motor skill development with a variety of puzzles requiring different skill levels. Construction sets and building blocks also reinforce fine motor skills.
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    Allow for your child to indulge their creative side by providing a variety of different arts and crafts items, such as paper, child-safe scissors, ribbon, glue, feathers, and whatever else you may find around the house.
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    Look for pretend-play toys that target your child's interest. Farm play sets, dolls and accessories, housekeeping props, and cars are all excellent choices when buying preschool toys.
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    Recall the joy of getting messy as a child. Sand and water toys, dirt, toy plates for making "mud pies," and play dough are all educational preschool toys. As children play with these items, their imaginations run wild as they experience different textures and smells.
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    Look for board games aimed at preschoolers. These games, such as Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders, teach your child to take turns. Board games also help preschool age children learn to follow established rules.


  • Allow your child to play with their toys and books in creative ways. Encourage them to find additional uses for their belongings. For example, while books are great to read, they can also be used to make walls or roads.
  • Stay away from buying preschool toys that have a lot of small parts. These parts can get lost or end up being ingested by children.
  • Avoid getting toys for bigger kids. For example: You wouldn't give a kid science project box.
  • Make sure you play with your children too.


  • Do not give your little one small toys because they might choke!

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Categories: Family Life