5 Things | About Buying Children's Toys

Sponsored by Tesco Carousel Toys
November 2017

Can we talk about toys? I've mentioned previously that I've really struggled with gifts this Christmas for both kids AND Ivy's birthday which is also in December - argh! I've always been so confident in choices for Ivy so to lose that this year has caught me off guard and poor little Ted is suffering from typical second child issues where I feel like I've bought it all before so have no idea what to buy him that he hasn't already inherited. With just a fortnight to go before before the big day, I think I have finally got the gift side of things under control and I thought I would share some toy-buying tips with some help from our friends, Tesco, who have just launched a brand new toy brand, Carousel.

1. Ask For Advice
There is nothing like a recommendation to get you started - whether that's through a blog post just like this one or the mama's whatsapp group, it is always best to have gifts tried and tested for you before you've even started. Not only does this eliminate the risks involved when blindly buying from unknown brands, you're also more likely to get an upfront honest opinion which saves you very precious time whilst juggling busy family schedules in the festive period.

2. Shop for Personality
Between the mind boggling amount of advertising on tv, the streets and social media it's easy to get very lost in the maze of what we 'should' be buying our children. I am very much behind the 'let toys be toys' belief and chose quite gender neutral toys for Ivy before she was old enough to make her own choices but with each year that passes I am still learning to choose gifts based on the way she is and I'm certainly not constricted by age and gender. I genuinely feel the Carousel range at Tesco has catered for children of all personalities and abilities and is certainly refreshing to see girls playing with trains and boys playing with dolls in the campaign imagery. Of the gifts we were kindly sent to review, Ivy's immediate interest laid within the rapid rescue helicopter* with its lights and sounds encouraging imaginative role play which tie in perfectly with the way she enjoys interacting with the toys she already owns. I know she would also adore any of Rock Star range which we are planning to buy her ourselves. Even Ted, who has very little interest in anything that's specifically bought for the purpose of play (and favours spoons and causing general destruction around the house instead) was captured by the play and learn cube*.

3. Longevity
The before mentioned in turn means it is much more likely you'll end up with toys that last longer and grow with them so less likely to clutter up the home unused. With a suggested age range of 3-8years old for the rescue helicopter, it will remain relevant as Ivy develops her play through her childhood making the toy much better value for money. The same goes for Ted's cube, despite having a suggested age of 12m+, this was of much more interest to him than the play mat* and will continue to adapt as he grows - right now the flashing lights and music are fab for sensory play but soon he will begin to explore it more and discover how each side works - it's like having 3 or 4 toys in one. Each of the Carousel Toys has a very clear indicator on the box so you know how it will enhance your child's learning and skills making it even easier to see exactly what you're buying - it's never just a toy.

4. Quality
Once you've chosen something that you feel will stand the test of time with growing minds, make sure it will stand the test of time with little fingers. I strongly believe that good quality toys are worth sourcing out as we have fallen victim to terribly made toys in the past which has resulted in upset and danger for the child and a frustration (especially financially) for us, the buyer. Everything we were sent from the Tesco Carousel toy range was robust and made of excellent quality materials which for the price I was extremely impressed with. It is also worth mentioning that all the toys in the range that require batteries are supplied with them! No extra annoying costs and of course with Tesco, you get your points too

5. Fun For Us Parents
There is always going to be a point in our lives where our child asks for something that we don't see the appeal in and because we love them, we (occasionally haha) oblige but when it is me that is the kids sole playmate, I would like to enjoy the toys alongside them both too. The trainset in the range is absolutely incredible and reminds me of playing with my own as a child but even when I'm not playing with them directly, I very much enjoy the volume control on all the noisy toys.

Have you bought everything you need yet? Let me know if you have any tips of your own!

You can shop the Tesco Carousel Toy Range here