3 Useful Tips on How to Buy Tech Toys for Your Kids
Buying toys for children doesn’t follow a season. You need to buy them a new set the moment the old one starts to break. You don’t wait for Christmas to make your children happy once again. Toys are a daily part of a child’s growth and development. That is why parents must constantly ask themselves this question: What type of tech toys must I buy for my kids this time?”
We single out tech toys in this article because electronic toys are more controversial than the traditional ones. Different schools of thoughts offer different theories on the safety and usefulness of digital toys. Many of these theories express alarm over the rampant use of electronic toys, citing the dangers that come with digital technology. But while there are electronic toys that are indeed harmful to kids, parents can always exercise caution when choosing which of these high tech toys to buy for their children.
Also, any toy that is not properly used will always be dangerous to children, whether it is non-techie wooden blocks or a sophisticated electronic communication device for kids. That’s why parents must also teach their kids how use toys properly.
Here are some practical tips you, as parents, can use to protect your kids from electronic toys that bring more harm to your kids than good and to make sure they are using their toys properly.
1. Determine if your kid are ready for a particular toy. As a parent, you have full control of your kid’s source of entertainment. If your kid comes to you asking for a cell phone, or a smartphone, for example, would you buy it for him right away, or would you think first if it is appropriate for his age right now? Cell phones can be toys too, but in case you forgot, they are also communication gadgets.
Check if a particular toy is what your kid needs right now at his age. What use will he have for it, where, when and with whom? If it’s his first phone, who are the people whom he will call or text? There are phones for kids these days whose call and text features can be limited to a few people only. The same goes to incoming calls and texts. These people must only be you and a few others who need to be notified in case of emergency.
Also consider if the kid’s phone has a feature for Internet access. Aside from the dangers the Internet may expose your kid to, an Internet connection can be costly too.
2. Check the recommended age ratings for the toys. Not all toys are good for all kids. Every age level has its own set of toys. You cannot give a cell phone to one-year-old for example, in the same way that digital crayons might be too babyish for an elementary student. Most Danish toy manufacturers, along with many other countries in the world, indicate in their packaging, the age of kids who can use the toys. Try to read the labels and the fine print.
Some electronic games these days are so advanced and sophisticated that they already feature built-in video games and movies. Check if these built-in movies and video games are appropriate for your kid’s age.
3. Consult an expert if you are in doubt. You might be a parent but there are some aspects of parenthood that only the experts are trained for. Toys and entertainment are one area in child rearing that needs the guidance of people with special training in the matter. This is especially true since we are talking about electronic toys. When you are in doubt if a high-tech toy is good for your kid, get the opinion of an expert. Many of them can be seen giving helpful advice in different websites dedicated to child growth and development.
Lorenzo Ninal is a toy enthusiast and business blogger. He writes for netgiraffen.dk, a Danish Children Site that offers quality and educational toys.