I have never shopped for babies. Despite having a nephew in USA, I never really needed to shop for him apart from sending Christmas & Halloween presents from India. But last week when I planned for a surprise St.Louis trip to see my youngest nephew, I realized how incompetent and uneducated I am about baby shopping! I got them clothes but couldn’t decide about safe and fun filled toys.
To make things easier, I called up my 4T old nephew in order to understand his expectations from his only Aunt! It was like he is my client & I’m preparing a business case. However, two things were clarified in that call that his favorite toy is a car & he likes strawberries.
Sometime in that week, I went to a mall that had plenty retail shops for kids & infants. Everything looked adorable just like in a fairy tale world, I kept smiling and browsing through various toy brands – Disney, Pixar, Lego, Fisher and the aisles were unending. I wish kids here in India also get to play with these toys & get exposed to the huge variety soon. But did you recognize these sweeties – The Minions, Agne’s Unicorn, Mr, Sullivan, Mike Wazoski and Peaches? Ofcourse, these are characters from various animated movies and I could find every possible soft toy version of those characters. Here comes another wish – I hope I could get the biggest and most yellowish minion for my significant other! He would really love it.
Here are the tips that I learnt for baby shopping for beginners:
1. For the most part, infants use their bodies hence baby gear that make them comfortable, happy are good like cozy blankets, a nicely designed stroller, grasping toys, rattles, etc.
2. For toddlers, who just started being mobile and are developing skills, like language to participate in a community – some ideas for this stage are push toys and pull toys, wooden peg puzzles, books and music for language development.
3. For kids more elder, imaginations are running at this stage and pretend play really gains momentum. They try to imitate grownup life hence role playing toys are apt for them like doll houses, puppets and other little figures. There are so many different kinds of age-appropriate construction toys, from blocks and legos. And of course, don’t forget about arts and crafts.
4. Moreover, for all the kids it’s good to buy educational games than any movie related games. Kids should become realistic rather than believing in a fairy or a fantasy land.
For my nephew I got him a present which was for kids double his age because he is so smart (touch wood!) that he needed something that can challenge him. I took the motor sport car out on the street and taught him how to operate it with a remote control. Moving it forward & backward, he said, it’s tricky to move it to the right & left. Aww. We played till the battery was exhausted. Here is my Conclusion – The toys that I couldn’t play in my tender age can be bought now. I know now what toys can help Kids learn and have fun. Additionally, one can play these with their own children or niece/nephews. So go on and re-ignite the kid in you and re-visit your childhood.