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In what has been a unique and challenging year for families, kids need the magic of Christmas more than ever before. Toys are a fixture of Christmas Day and the hunt for the perfect presents takes on a new significance this year as parents and relatives look to delight children in a way that encourages wonderment, honours quality family time, and is value for money. To coincide with the launch of their exciting 2020 Christmas catalogue, Toyworld have put together some tips to help make Christmas 2020 a success.
Consider the age and stage of the child
Christmas present ‘101’ is ensuring an age-appropriate toy for kids. Choose one that is too complicated and it is likely to cause frustration or tears; conversely, choose one and one that is too simplistic, and it will cause yawns. Follow the age recommendation symbol on any given toy, and it’s sure to captivate the child, right? Wrong! Age recommendations are only a guide, and particularly helpful if you’re not a parent or caregiver that spends a lot of time with the child. Making the right call can be tough; especially when tv/video advertisements have a tendency to show older children interacting with the toy, when it’s actually more suited to younger ones, or vice versa.
Every parent likes to think of their child as a little genius who can take on any toy challenge, but it’s important to take an objective look at how they interact with other toys in their age bracket, and adjust for their skill level when choosing their next toy. A specialty toy store can help you make sense of what toys are more fluid in the age recommendation department, and which ones stay true. Staff at Toyworld interact with a broad cross-section of the community and have insider tips on what toys have resonated - and which ones haven’t quite hit the mark - for particular ages. It provides an advantage to help you compare a cherished toy with a potential new one this Christmas.
Look for versatility
We find ourselves in a tough economy, and most parents and caregivers will want to ensure a shelf life of toys beyond Christmas day. This approach also teaches kids an important lesson of quality over quantity that increases their gratitude across the holiday period and beyond. Concerns about toy versatility are particularly important if you’re not the child’s parent or a regular caregiver, and are unsure which toys will provide maximum replay value. The last thing you want to do is buy a toy that will soon become boring for a child, and get relegated to the bottom of the toybox. It can be challenging to make the call on the right toy when websites offer little to no practical product information and when tv/video advertisements tend to embellish the features of said toy. Consulting a toy specialist will offer insights on a toy’s popularity and suitability, which can help parents who already know their child inside and out, or relatives who are less certain of what would appeal to the child.
Bring out their creativity
STEM or STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) toys are growing in popularity, due to their lessons in spatial awareness, patience and concentration, problem solving and creativity. Seizing the creative potential of such play is especially worthwhile when selecting a Christmas toy for children this year. Let’s face it - indoor life has been a fixture of 2020, as has our reliance on technological devices. So-called ‘passive toys’, such as computer games, TVs, tablets or smartphones, have their place, but they are structured in nature, and limit kids’ use of imagination and tactile exploration. Whether they realise it or not, kids enjoy outlets for creativity and the opportunity to make things from scratch. Make-your-own kits and paint sets are excellent toy choices in this respect for Christmas 2020. They offer varying degrees of a ‘blank canvas’ for kids of all ages to exercise lateral thinking; whether it’s forming sculptures from kinetic sand, building cities with lego blocks, or braiding friendship bracelets.
Encourage teamwork in outdoor settings
Toys that cater to solitary play is of course important for kids’ confidence and development, not to mention for parents’ sanity! However, the holiday season is a perfect opportunity to invest in toys and activity sets that encourage cooperative play amongst families, before the onset of the new year pulls you all in different directions. The pandemic situation saw a revival of board games and jigsaw puzzles as a way for families to wile away the hours together, but many would agree that moving family gameplay outdoors is especially important this Christmas. Activity sets designed for the outdoors come in a range of styles, including traditional sports-based games, water-based play, and science-based toys that can get a little messy! Consider options that are easily transportable and can be taken to the park, or more fixed games that can be setup in the backyard. Not sure where to start? Toyworld has Australia’s best range of toys, and can help you find the ideal toy to suit any play environment.
Avoid reliving your own childhood
It’s natural for holiday shopping to evoke memories of your own childhood Christmases, and make you think about what cherished presents and toys you did or didn’t receive. When choosing a toy for your own child, resist the temptation to pick one based purely on your own nostalgia, or assumption of what they would like. If you’re eyeing off that ultimate race track you really wish you had at their age, ask yourself - is it really what your kids have expressed interest playing with? If not, perhaps it’s best to stick to the clues they have no doubt given you, in your present-finding mission. Finding it hard to relinquish that toy, or holding onto hope that your child may want to play with it at a later date? Consider gifting that item to yourself - Toyworld has a diverse range that is sure to appeal to any adult’s inner child, and you may just pass on the tradition yet! Another gift-giving aspect to consider is that times have changed, and adults shouldn’t feel bound by traditional perspectives of which toys are appropriate for boys or girls. Toys are inclusive tools for learning and entertainment, and you should feel comfortable running with what your child is drawn to.
Get inspiration from Australia’s toy specialist
Online toy shopping from the big-box retailers may appeal due to convenience, but it is no substitute for the knowledge and customer service that comes with a local, speciality toy shop. When tasked with Christmas shopping for kids, you’ll naturally be seeking an extensive range of the best and brightest toys, but wouldn’t it be nice to access extensive product knowledge to help you make the right choice for your child, grandchild or niece/nephew? That’s the Toyworld difference. Toyworld is locally owned and operated, and has been serving the local community for over 40 years with physical stores across Australia and a handy online shopping experience. Their in-house experts have a passion for delivering fun and smiles for every child, and are ready to help make Christmas Day 2020 and beyond, a magical time for your family.
Keen to access Australia’s best range of toys to delight your kids this Christmas? Visit your nearest Toyworld or jump online to view the range on the Toyworld website.