The toy market is saturated with so many junk toys that picking a toy you can trust is challenging. You don’t want to end up with something that’s going to be part of the next toy recall, but there’s no way to ensure that while shopping. Or is there? Stick with brands that Moms trust when picking out new toys. You’ll feel better giving these gifts and you’ll be supporting toy makers that have proven quality.
Fisher Price makes so many classic toys, you probably remember playing with many of them — such as the Little People or Teaching Clock — from your own childhood. Fisher Price toys generally target the preschool to elementary age range, although the toy manufacturer has moved into electronics toys that may stimulate older minds. You’re sure to find something you love for young kids from this brand that you can trust. Top toys to consider include the classic Farmer Says See N Say, the Little People farm, a toy tea set, Rock-a-Stack colored rings, baby’s first remote and “grow with me” roller skates.
For educational electronics toys, LeapFrog’s LeapPad line is a clear winner. The toys, which resemble iPads, come loaded with over 100 games, ebooks and videos. Expansion sets allow you to add on flash cards, apps and additional learning activities to keep your child busy learning. As a bonus, LeapPads are built to withstand rough child’s play. This won’t break in two weeks because Junior dropped it in the parking lot. These devices are geared toward children ages four to nine. For older kids, try a tablet made for pre-teens.
Build a Bear
Build a Bear teddy bears don’t come cheap, but they do offer a unique experience your little one will love: Your child gets to build his or her own teddy. Consider this a birthday experience or reward for something special since it’s not just a toy. It’s the whole experience of sharing time with you and building a personalized friend. The Build a Bear staff is super friendly and will walk you through every step of the toy making experience. Tip: The costs come in adding on the accessories and outfit, but the bears themselves aren’t too costly. Plus, they sell kits sop you can create it at home and they offer other kinds of animals, not just bears.
Hape’s wooden racecars give the Hot Wheels franchise a run for their money. As an added bonus, the cars are made from environmentally friendly bamboo, so you can feel good about giving these as gifts. For younger children, try Hape’s Happy Baby collection or its totally amazing wooden puzzles and vertical mazes. The colors and shapes will please little kids, while you know these toys boost spatial perception and analytics.
Lamaze toys for babies combine brand trust and cool products. Lamaze gets the baby demographic just right with toys that offer an assortment of pleasing textures, contrasting colors and fun sounds. These toys are designed by experts to encourage baby’s tactile and oral exploration of the world. Moms love that these toys are super soft so they won’t scratch baby’s skin; they’re even chewable for that phase when everything goes in the mouth. Plus, they’re machine washable so when baby drools too much, you can just pop them in the machine.
Because these toys are built with quality in mind, extra expense is easily offset. You know these are built to last. Best-loved ones may even become “hand me down” toys someday for nieces, nephews and grandchildren.
Cassie is a fitness lover with a passion for yoga. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging on behalf of Sears and other brands she loves.