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...
Dear Marianne: My husband and I have 2 daughters ages 3 and 5. They have so many toys and it's hard for me to get rid of them because so many of them are from family and friends but it's overwhelming! I think they have too many toys-do you have any suggestions of how many toys a kid plays with in a day and how many do they really need? I don't remember having so many toys as a child-just a few favorites. Then it's hard to get them to clean up b/c I think it overwhelms them. What do you think? Phil and Angie, Blue Springs, MO, parents of Marlee 5 and Jaimee 3
Most children don't need lots of toys. It's better to have a variety that enhance different skills. If you have too many (as many households probably do) box them up and reintroduce them every few weeks. Kids find this to be fun and exciting since to them it seems that they are getting new toys to play with, With the girls so close in age that is good, but keep in mind safety concerns for the little one should her sister play with toys that may not be appropriate for her. At 3 and 4, they still have very different skill levels.
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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.