If you are a parent, then you know that every year the news stations come out with a list of the top ten toys for kids for the holiday season. While it is true that some of the toys seem clever and “cool,” I wonder if the toy manufacturers with toys on that list are being granted favor for some other reason. Surely, the objective is to sell more toys, but we all know that those “have to have” toys are often overpriced and are often forgotten within ten minutes of your child having opened the package.
The true test of whether or not a toy should be on the top toy list should be determined based upon how long the toy keeps your child’s attention and on how much your child’s world is expanded by playing with that toy.
Let me use myself as an example for one moment. I have a three year old son. His toy chest is full of motorized cars, dinosaurs and other “boy” toys. His favorite toys, however, are his plastic set of animals that I picked up at the zoo a few months ago. Wearing his ape mask, he lines the toys up along the fireplace hearth and plays for hours. He enjoys pretending that he is an animal. I think imagination is what makes any toy a top toy for kids. The trick is to figure out what most interests the child and then to find a toy that encourages that interest. In my son’s case, he likes animals.