Shopping for kids can be difficult. Their tastes and things they like change from year to year. And with so many toy options out there it is difficult deciding between them.
Every year approximately 5,000 new toys hit the market. That is staggering. It is very likely that any given toy they had at any store last year probably will not be on the shelves the following year. For parents, it all comes down to active involvement and a little bit of research. If shopping for nieces, nephews, grandchildren, etc., more work may be required.
Thankfully, shopping for kids can be an enjoyable experience as well. Visiting toy shops always seems to bring out the little kid in all of us. In this article I have come up with a few tips to ensure that your shopping adventures will be a fun one.
The absolute best way to know what to get a child is simply to ask them. Talk to them and find out what their favorite cartoons and games are. For older children, get to know what they like and what they are into. Some may prefer a certain new video game and others might really like soccer.
This comes easy for parents because they are around their kids all the time. But for aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers, and others this can be more challenging. If the child lives too far away to talk to often, just ask their parents what to get. This is definitely the easiest route to take. If all else fails, just ask the sales associate at the toy store what are the hottest toys or see my list of the hottest Christmas gifts 2012.
When shopping for kids it is also very important to do a little research on the product itself. For example, many toys come with an age appropriate safety rating. This can be a great guide for determining if the gift will be right for child. Also, for young children, especially infants and toddlers, be aware of the products materials and possible safety issues.
Many online sellers of toys have bestseller lists available. This can give you a feel for what is popular amongst kids in general. And if you get the weekend paper, be sure to flip through some of the circulars to see what toys are listed as these will also be some of the most popular.
Where to Buy
Deciding or finding out what to get for the little one is the easy part. The more challenging step sometimes is finding the best place to get it, especially if it is more of a specialty toy. Often a little research online is the best option.
There are thousands of online merchants available offering an assortment of goods. A simple keyword search will bring up multiple stores where the toy can be purchased. This makes for easy comparison shopping. Often many places also provide free shipping and handling.
If you prefer to go out and buy gifts the old-fashioned way, than do a web search to find local toy or specialty stores that will have the gift. It is a good idea to call and check first, to make sure they have it in stock. There is nothing worse than driving around town for nothing.
Shopping for kids can be a fun and rewarding experience or it can be a last minute nightmare. It all comes down to asking questions and doing a little research. Hopefully these tips will help you have a great toy shopping experience.