As a first time parent it can be very daunting choosing toys for your baby, because you have no idea what they will like and what they will ignore. There’s nothing worse than spending money on something only for it to be cast aside within a few days, and especially so if it takes up precious floor space and you keep standing on it as you nip to the kitchen in the middle of the night.
With Christmas coming up I’ve been starting to ponder what we can get our baby girl. She won’t really know it’s Christmas and won’t expect anything, but we will want to get her a few things. I have found myself browsing major retailer sites, but they are not easy to navigate so I’ve been a bit bamboozled. Often the toys are not categorised by age so I find myself squinting at the pictures to see if the age is on the box, and if you don’t already know what you want it’s hard to search.
Therefore, I was delighted when Fundamentally Children send me en electronic copy of their new Good Toy Guide 2018 featuring the best toys they’ve reviewed this year. This is a a new publication, in print and online, and could be a great help for parents looking for toy ideas.
In case you’re not familiar with Fundamentally Children, they describe themselves as “an expert organisation dedicated to ensuring every child has a happy, healthy and playful childhood”. In 2014 they set up the Good Toy Guide website which is a free website where toys are tested by children and reviewed by psychologists to give parents an impartial resource to compare toys.
At first I tried opening the Good Toy Guide on my mobile, which is where I do a lot of my internet browsing when commuting to work, but I found it wasn’t very mobile friendly, and I kept accidentally clicking on links so I was jumping around. However when I eventually found time to open it on my laptop I got on much better, although it was still a little fuzzy and hard to read in places.
It’s a very refreshing publication, because right from the start it emphasizes that Christmas isn’t about spending money and shouldn’t be stressful, and their four gift rule is certainly something I’ll try to stick to in future years.
- Something they want (luckily we can escape this for a few years so it’s really something I want for her)
- Something they need
- Something to wear
- Something to read
It is easy to navigate and divided up by age, and each toy is marked with ratings for price, fun, ease of use and the skills developed. This is great if you want to make sure that your toys help develop different skills.
The Good Toy Guide publication is a great starting point for getting ideas, but I think it really comes into it’s own when you click the links to visit the more detailed information about the toys online. There you can get more detailed information about the age range for the toys, and see all the reviews, and the ratings scales are also easier to view.
I’m glad I discovered the Good Toy Guide, and I will certainly be using their website in future years for inspiration. The actual publication is a nice addition and a good starting point, but it is a bit limited on the amount for information for each toy, so I think the electronic version where you can click on the links is perfect. It might not be as easy to read as a print version, but the extra functionality is great.
Now I’ve just got to narrow all these amazing toys to one or two we want/need (ooh how do you tell the difference?)