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Finding Value in a Toy by Kitty Robertson Morse, Heirloom Wooden Toys

October 21, 2010

wooden toys,heirloomtoys,gift ideas,toy value,best christmas presentWe’ve all had the experience of buying something for our kids, even something they’ve specifically asked for, and it sits, unused, until a couple of years later we put it in the donation pile.  As this holiday season approaches, and as most of us are planning to spend a little less than in the past, we thought we’d take a look at what qualities make for great toy value.

1.  Play value – Open-ended, imaginative toys are important items in any child’s toy box.  These toys allow children to play how they want to, not how an adult toy designer thinks they should play.  Kids will come back to this type of toy time and time again as they learn and grow.  Think of a play kitchen – it can be a kitchen for classic house and doll play, or a restaurant, or a shop, or a schoolroom.  And that’s just the beginning!

2.  Durability  – Well made, long lasting toys are treasured and passed on through the generations.  Toys are made to be played with, and that includes some measure of beating, climbing on, jumping on, rides down the stairs, etc.  A great toy gets better with time, and a few dings or paint splotches won’t matter.

3.  Growth value – Can the toy be added to, or can the toy be played with only one way? Truly great toys can be added to over time, and can be incorporated into a lot of different play scenarios.  Some good examples would be wooden train sets or woooden blocks.

4.  Learning value Educational toys that help develop gross and fine motor skills and cognitive skills are always a good bet.  With manipulative toys, children are practicing all the time. Offer toys like bead mazes, stacking or balancing toys, puzzles, simple games, or lacing shapes.

5. Safety – The most important thing to us as parents is the safety of our children. Make sure the toys you give to your children meet all current requirements regarding materials and choking hazards.  We also carry some items such as The Learning Tower which enhance the safety of your home while helping your child interact with you in the “above counter height” world of adults.

6. Simplicity – Parents we talk to all seem to want less noise and fewer pieces to get scattered around the house.  The Big Box Stores all seem to carry the opposite – loud, annoying, breakable toys with millions of tiny pieces that will hold a child’s attention for only a short time.

wooden blocks,heirloom toys,classic toys,educational toys,learningtoys,gift ideas,best christmas gift ideasNot everything we buy for our kids will meet all, or even most of these criteria.  But we think every home should have a few toys that will inspire your children, and their children too!

If you are looking to buy a gift or toy for your child or grandchild, think of Heirloom Wooden Toys where we provide sustainable, safe wooden toys, games and furniture that will last for generations to come.  You can shop by Age, Price, Brand, or just browse hundreds of products for all kinds of kids.  Many of our products are Made in the USA so you can support businesses that are keeping jobs at home.  Looking for custom products?  We have a large selection of items that can be personalized or engraved with your name or message.  Free Shipping on orders over $99!  Contact Kitty Robertson Morse at or (866) 202-8073.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. big sis @ mommy sisters permalink
    November 11, 2010 5:55 pm

    thanks for this info- it’s exactly what I’m looking for as I start my sons (short) gift list requested by relatives. I will definitly be stearing them in this direction! I have been looking for unpainted and affordable block sets and train sets that will grow with him!

  2. November 18, 2010 8:37 pm

    Yes, it’s great to start them off with small things that can be added to! Helps keep the house under control too, makes gift giving easier, and I think kids get more “into” playtime when they have to make up their own stories. Let me know if you need any other ideas!

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