Choosing toys for toddlers

Toys for children. Countless hours in the aisles of a toy store without being able to choose the “right toy”.

Sounds familiar? This is a common experience for parents or more generally for consumers who want to buy something for a child.

What to choose? Which toy is suitable for its age? My child asks for something specific. Should I buy it?

What are the criteria for choosing a “good” toy?

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Children's toys

A usual comment of our age is that nowadays many things “have lost their innocence” to a large extent.

Apparently this also applies to toys and we must therefore be rather careful in our choices.

It is important to carefully consider the toys we choose for our children and make sure they contribute to their entertainment and their proper development.

  • Naturally, this is the buyer's call and hence the choice of a toy is made based on their own aesthetic.
  • Another parameter to consider is the wish of the child, which may be within reason, but its demands may not met either because what it wants is too expensive, or of poor quality, or not suitable for its age.
  • The child's age is another criterion that should be kept in mind when choosing toys. Most toys have indication of the age they are addressed to on their package.
  • The sex of the child is also something that determines a toy choice. Whether we like it or not, many toys are intended for boys, many others for girls and of course there are some for both sexes.


Criteria for choosing children's toys

Look at the choices you have. A toy definitely provides entertainment. Did you choose something that provides more than that?

A toy that develops skills, trains the child, encourages imagination and creativity... There is no “rule” for choosing a toy. Perhaps, however, you will find the following “tips” useful:

  • The toy should be suitable for the age of the child (particularly for toys intended for children under 3 years old which may contain small parts or cords and anything else that could be dangerous).
  • Exclude cloth and stuffed toys that are leave lint which is very harmful for babies.
  • The toy must match the child's personality. Observe the “talents” of the child and help it cultivate them. For instance, a boy who enjoys building things will prefer toy blocks to a soccer ball.
  • Provide a “variety of toys” in your child's life. Each type of toy can develop a unique skill to the child. For instance, single player toys are not enough; the child must also learn to act collectively and this is achieved through team games (board games are a great solution for home playing).
  • There is no need to buy something expensive. Expensive toys are not necessarily the best and besides, a child does not love a toy because of its price!
  • Make sure the toy is harmless in terms of the components it has, and of good manufacture (not toxic).
  • Prefer to buy one good, quality and beautiful toy, to many of dubious quality! In this way the child will be “trained” to believe in “better fewer but better”.


Buying toys is no game

  • Check whether the toy is safe (it does not have sharp edges, is non-toxic, does not have small parts that can be swallowed by a child ...)
  • It is sturdy? Easy to use?
  • Is the manufacturer of the toy reliable?
  • Look for the CE indication on the box or wrapping; if there, the toy meets the standards of the European Union.


Stop thinking that a great expense will give great pleasure. Children do not know the cost of toys. Choose something with care and love, regardless of its price.

Advertised toys may be more appealing to children. If you believe that any of those meets basic standards, there is no harm in buying it. Yet, remember, just because they are advertised they are not necessarily good!


CE Mark

According to INKA (General Consumers' Federation of Greece), the toys we buy must have the CE mark which theoretically ensures the quality of the product.

These products have been tested and meet the specifications set by the European Union.

According to an INKA research, the initiative for the purchase-choice of toys belongs by 61.7% to children and by 38.3% to adults. Thus a total of over 90% of buyers (to the extent that, normally, children do not have this information) choose without any knowledge on the safety requirements to be met by toys.

  • Excess profit is the main motive of many stores, that do not care for the quality of the toys they sell, nor for the needs, desires, interests of the buyer and especially of the final consumer, namely the child.
  • There are product categories which are perceived as toys (e.g. Christmas decorations, fake jewellery, scale models, etc.) but are not toys and therefore their manufacturers are not subject to toys' specifications.
  • The market is full of imitations of trademark toys of low quality standards, toys without Greek labelling (manufacturer, importer, age), as well as toys without Greek manuals.
  • Do not buy toys every time your child asks you to. Buy them on some occasion (birthdays, holidays, etc.). There is no need to constantly go bearing gifts when visiting a child, nor should your gifts be always a toy. You diminish its value and role.
  • Do not let advertisements decide for you. Use them to get ideas, but be -along with your child - the one that will finally decide.


Toys for 1 year old babies

Babies this age start walking, can sit without support, can roll like “barrels”, observe, get excited with new stimuli.

  • Balls
  • Puzzles with large pieces
  • Dolls, stuffed animals
  • Toy blocks
  • Theme toys (farm, house-family)... with big parts.
  • Cars
  • Pyramids with rings


Toys for 2-3 year old children

  • Building material (bricks, blocks)
  • Materials for art activities (crayons, plasticine - always check whether they are non-toxic).
  • Vehicles or animals for the child to ride on
  • Kitchenware
  • Painting Canvas-Easel or blackboard with chalks
  • Train
  • Vehicles with pedals
  • and small animals are very popular with children and you can find them in a great variety. (Make sure they are of good quality plastic)
  • Tools
  • Musical Instruments


Create with your child

Your baby is growing every day, it is becoming increasingly more mobile and active! Everything around it is new and so it gets excited with everything that catches its attention!

Gradually, it starts reacting more to bright colours, cheerful designs, shapes and patterns that stir its interest, thus starting to control and coordinate its body.

Babylino has created a number of proposals, inspired by the patterns and colours of our products, to help you create new stimuli for your baby, brighten up the room and at the same time spend creative time with your child.


Sketch block

Select the topics you like and click on them to simultaneously download both files (coloured and black and white); then print them and paint!