Christmas shopping for the little ones can be so overwhelming! They aren't old enough yet to ask for specific things, and there are about a zillion options to choose from! I have some great deals offered so far this holiday season. However, I often wonder if the cheap prices equal out to a cheap product.
I recently became acquainted with a toy company who has been making high quality innovative goods for over 40 years. That company is International Playthings. On their website, they offer a set of tips to help you choose the absolute best toy for the child on your list. These tips are not just useful at Christmas-- they are good to follow all year round!
- Age appropriateness – Look at the manufacturer’s suggested age grading on the products as a starting place. This labeling is based upon developmental milestones of children. You want something that will engage not bore. In addition, toys are tested to meet the safety standards at different age levels.
- Open-ended play – Select toys that allow for this type of play since it encourages developing imaginations. Children learn about themselves and their environment through play in general; open-ended play lets children be creative and act out various scenarios as they express themselves.
- Don’t give into the hype! What’s hot now may not be hot next week so look for a toy that will engage your child. Hot or not, a toy your child enjoys will find its way out of the toy chest more often than not.
- Interests – Choose toys that suit the child’s interests. Does he like music? Maybe a toy piano or microphone would be ideal. Does she like sports? Then an outdoor toy such as a lacrosse set or tee-ball set may be perfect.
- Classic play patterns – Based upon age and interest you can’t go wrong with a classic toy such as blocks, puzzles, dolls, cars, etc. Think of what you enjoyed as a child and view the new, updated versions of your classic and favorite.
Following their guidelines, I was able to find numerous toys on the International Playthings website that were ideal for Raileigh. One thing that really stood out to me was the Rocket Baby Play Set. This six piece plush play set is packed with multi-sensory activities:
- Astro Dog Barks
- Moon Crinkles
- Shooting Star Rattles
- UFO Jingles
- Alien is made from Stretchy Material
- All characters fit inside Rocket, which has a mirror on it
This toy is recommended for children age 12 months and up. I can definitely see that Raileigh would have enjoyed it at a year old, and I could also see how she would enjoy it now. She has such an active little imagination and loves to dream up stories and scenarios. This rocket play set is unlike any other that she has, and I knew that it could spur her imagination in a completely new direction.
Our Rocket Baby Play Set arrived, and of course Raileigh wanted to examine it immediately. I carefully removed each of the pieces from the packaging and she began to check everything out. I could immediately tell that she was drawn to the Astro Dog, which is really no surprise considering her love of these four-legged friends! When you press the dog's tummy, he barks. Raileigh carried the dog around, making him bark periodically for the rest of the night!
When she was done playing for the day, I love that clean-up is actually easy with this product. You see, all of the characters fit inside the rocket ship! So, you don't have to search for something to keep the pieces in- it is equipped with its own convenient carry case! The front of the rocket has a clear window, so one of the characters can peek out from inside.
Every since our Rocket Baby Play Set came to live in our house, Raileigh has had a blast with it! She plays with it pretty much every single day, which is more than I can say for a lot of toys. It is also a great toy for us to take on the go since the toys fit inside the rocket so well. My husband has told me several times that he thinks this is such a neat toy. I couldn't agree more!
Of course, now I have been scoping out some of the other toys at International Playthings that Raileigh might enjoy!
Would you like to check out International Playthings for yourself? This wonderful toy company has generously agreed to send one lucky Wee Share reader a Rocket Baby Play Set just like we received!
Here's how to enter:
Mandatory Entry (Must be done before any extra entries will qualify)
Stop by the International Playthings website. Leave me a LINK to a toy you would love to try out with your children.
Extra Entries (Please leave a separate comment for each entry)
- Sign up for the International Playthings newsletter
- 1 entry each- Comment on any of the reviews (reviews only- not reviews & giveaways) posted under the 2010 Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide- found on right sidebar of blog
- 3 extra entries- Posted Christmas Guide button early and commented on the announcement post
- 1 extra entry- Have the 2010 Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide button on your blog
Please visit the Extra Giveaway Entries page for even more ways to gain extra entries into this giveaway!
Giveaway is open to US Only. Giveaway will close December 18, 2010 at 11:59 pm EST.
Remember, this is a dual-blog event! So head on over to The Ivy Twines and check out her Christmas Review & Giveaway posts!!
No monetary compensation was received for this post. A plush rocket set was provided to me for review. An additional rocket set is being provided as a giveaway for my readers. All opinions expressed above are my own.