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What do you look for in toys for kids and babies? Quality? Uniqueness? Handmade? Educational? Fun Factor? We asked several of you what you thought the biggest reasons were to buy (or not buy) toys for kids, and here are your top answers – in no particular order.
Educational toys for kids and babies
More than half of you said it was important to you that toys for kids and babies teach them something. Whether it’s their ABCs or 123s or a life lesson like dealing with emotions or why it’s important to be kind. Educational toys are always top buys for gifts too because they are thoughtful & useful and with so many options available, we don’t see this preference doing anything other than grow.
We love the Slumberkins range of soft plush toys and books, designed to help children identify and deal with life’s situations and the big emotions that come with them. There’s even one (the Otter) that has a removable plush heart that the child can send with their loved ones to keep them connected whenever they’re apart.
Toys for kids and babies that are all about fun & imaginative play
Without doubt, fun & imaginative play are the top reasons behind choice of toys for kids and babies and there’s great science to back up this preference. Imaginative play is a key contributor to the cognitive and social development of our children.
Playing shops or mummies & daddies or dress-ups are powerful ways to help children learn social skills and reinforce behaviours they’ve been taught – AND seriously, how cute is it when you see your little one talk to their baby doll like you talk to them.
Dolls, doll’s prams and clothes are great ways to delight little kids and help them sharpen these developmental skills too. We love our range of handmade doll’s clothes & accessories that even include nappies and nappy wipe packs – Trust us these are the best investment for your Minikane, Miniland Dolls and our gorgeous Diversity Dolls with hours of imaginative play guaranteed.
TIP: We bought our girls the Kmart wooden washing machine so now they can even clean their dolly’s clothes and nappies - #winning!
Made to last & eco-friendly toys for kids and babies
Quality items made to last is something we are passionate about at Verde Baby. The idea that many of our items can be passed down from child to child and generation to generation makes us smile.
Almost a third of you told us that this was important to you too, that you would prefer to invest in one or two quality items then a load of lower quality items you knew would just be landfill the following year. Sustainability was also a hot-topic among the parents and grandparents we spoke to. Items that are ethically made and with social conscious in mind would be a good reason for you to buy a certain item.
Handmade items, made by locals was also something you told us would be important to you. At Verde Baby we LOVE supporting other small businesses make their dreams come true and we are so proud to stock lots of local and handmade items.
And although not toys, as such, many of our wall decals are designed and printed in Australia, our beaded chandeliers, mobiles, and the majority of our art work range, like our Alannah Cecilia Collection, are also great examples of some of the homegrown brands we are proud to bring to you.
Something a little different
About two-thirds of you said to us you wanted toys for kids and babies that you don’t see everywhere, something original or even bespoke. You loved the idea of handmade or made to order items or collections that were exclusive.
There are some brands in the children’s toy market that EVERYONE knows about. They bring out so many new options each year and accessories that it’s hard to keep up and, whilst we think these all have a place in the market, we agree with you about purchasing something you aren’t going to see in every other playroom or bedroom in Australia.
Don’t get me wrong, we shop at Kmart and target and our kids have plenty of things that are on the “popular” list, it’s just nice to have a few things that are just a little bit special, a little unique every now and then – don’t you think?
Gorgeous, on-trend and simply WOW toys for kids and babies
Sometimes you just want that O M G item or toy that makes everyone’s jaws drop and eyes pop! Every once in a while, we come across an over-the-top, totally excessive, ultra glamourous piece and we find ourselves in sync with each other saying – WE HAVE TO STOCK THESE.
This year for us it’s our Vintage Style doll’s prams – they are simply breath-taking. Step back into the 1920’s and look at these exquisite creatures. We know they aren’t inexpensive, but they are beautifully made and guaranteed to be a very special heirloom piece. We are going to be sad when the last one of these leaves our doors.
Something snuggly, that just might become their favourite
Plush toys will always be a winner, but interestingly about a third of you said to us that you wanted to find that ONE SOFT TOY to rival all the rest. The one that comes on all of the holidays, day trips and of course the one they NEED to snuggle to sleep each night.
There are quite literally endless options of soft toys for kids and babies out there, it’s impossible to search them all. Our top tip is to narrow the field by going with their existing interests.
If they love giraffes then get a gorgeous snuggly giraffe, maybe they like puppy dogs or bunny rabbits or the traditional teddy bear. Or maybe they are into things a little left-field like sloths, llamas, foxes or even Bigfoots! Whatever it is, if you start with what they already love you’ll be on to a winner.
Something you always wanted/ loved as a kid
Nostalgia… it’s a powerful force, especially in parenting and a whopping 80% of you told us you have bought something for your little loves because you loved it as a kid. Retro is in BIG TIME.
Care Bears and Pound Puppies are flooding the shelves for Christmas 2020. BUT for us it’s dolls – beautiful dolls that we could dress and love like we were their Mummies.
I suppose as sisters, who are also only 18 months apart, we spent many an hour playing with our dolls together, so to be able to put together a collection of very special dolls we would have died for as young girls is a dream in itself.
What’s your childhood must-have you would love to get for your kids or grandkids? We’d love to know – maybe we can get it in for you 😉
Well that’s our list and we hope you had a little fun reading it! A huge thanks to the many of you who helped us bring it together, it was such a cool piece to research and a privilege to hear exactly what you are looking for in toys for kids and babies. It make us even more driven to keep searching for the perfect items!