How can you tell if these holiday "hot toy" lists are credible or just advertising?
Shelley, New York, NY, Mom of Luke (4) and Max (18 months)
The best way to approach a "hot" toy list is to read it for information and not as a shopping list. Most of these lists have little or no research behind them. To determine if a list is credible or not, look for these red flags.
1. The list is based purely on opinion. Anyone can have an opinion. There are more scientific ways to evaluate toys.
2. Kids are billed as toy experts. Children are toy consumers, not toy experts.
3. The list contains nothing but descriptions of the toys. That's a hint there was never really any testing or evaluation. more...
What is the best way to store toys outdoors? Ken, Newport Beach, CA, Father of Josh (6), Eric (4) and Trinity (2)
Get an outdoor toy box! A sturdy, weather-resistent container should have its' own spot in the yard or near a door. If outdoor toys (sandbox toys, balls, sports equipment) come indoors, they are bound to track in dirt and germs. Give them their own storage space and wash the box and its' contents on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is every time you water the grass, hose down the outdoor toys too!
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Toy Tips to Parents: Time to Unplug
Don't over stuff the toy box with tech toys. When is technology too much technology?
While tech toys are popular and some can be educational, the latest round of newcomers at Toy Fair makes it clear we're going too far into technology assisted play. It seems technology now permeates almost every kind of toy category on the toy shelves. Parents run the risk of stocking the playroom with items that undermine the important developmental aspects of childhood play.