Light and sound toys! Rubber toys! Plastic toys! Wooden toys! The list is endless! As a new parent, you and your child will always be spoilt for choices when it comes to toys. The dilemma here though, is about which are the right toys for your child which stimulate his/her thinking abilities, motor skills and other aspects of development? Which ones will s/he really like? Which will help her/his development?
Unless you observe your child at play and allow him/her to ‘toy’ with the toys well enough, you will never know the answers to these questions.
Then arises the second challenge. If you buy all these toys based on your gut feel, you are essentially hoarding them. If you buy too many, you will soon be crying for more and more storage space! And children usually don’t play with so many toys together. If you buy too little, you might lose the opportunity of stimulating your child’s brain enough, which is much needed when your child’s neural connections are forming, especially between the age bracket of 0-5 years.
Have been there, done that and looking for a way out? Consider opting for a good toy rental service, which can replenish your stock of toys every month or every fortnight and clear the earlier stock. The benefits, as you can guess by now, are many:
1. In the developmental phase of 0-5 years, children outgrow toys very fast. Also, their attention span is low so even the most interesting toy will not hold them at one place for more than a couple of minutes. The solution – keep rotating their toys every now and then.
2. Storage space in most urban households, especially in big cities, is limited. Toys are usually bulky, come in all odd shapes and sizes. No matter how much space you create, you will always see a couple lying around here and there in the house, if you buy too many. A couple of shelves would do if you are renting out toys as they come and go.
3. You will never need to pick your brains or do your online research to figure out what are the toys best suited for your child. Usually a good toy rental service will have done their research and stock the right ones.
4. Variety will obviously be more as compared to buying. It simply depends on the stock of the toy library.
5. As a new parent, you are already feeling the hole in your pocket, why burden it more by buying and stocking toys. A toy rental service mostly works out to be the more economical option, if you measure it against time.
6. Some of the toy libraries also have books. Kill two birds with one stone!
Once your child develops his area of interests and labels his ‘favourite’ toys, you can always buy those if s/he is too pained to give them away to the library.
If you are kicked about this idea already, here are a few things to be cautious about as well:
1. Hygiene with children is important so ask the library if they sanitise each toy before handing you over. (especially for babies and toddlers, when they could have drooled, peed over toys and the next one might decide to taste them!
2. Go for an online toy rental service or ask your toy library if they can deliver and pick up from your doorstep. As a mum with a baby, you will enjoy this convenience over stepping out to pick up and drop toys, especially if they are large in size and the library is not so near. With an online service, you might also have the freedom to select toys whenever you find time and add them to your favourites for an order later.
3. Good toy libraries will have classified toys into different categories. Ask for their catalogue or check online to make informed choices. There are different toys for children with special needs as well. Try and book a mix of different types to make the most of your baby’s experience!
4. Go for flexible packages so that you have the freedom to change or upgrade your subscription later, based on your child’s needs.
5. Check for reviews by other Moms/parents before you subscribe to an online toy rental service. This may give you a better picture of their quality of service as well as toys.
6. It is best to check their policy for damaged or lost toys, in case your baby ends up breaking or losing a part! Just be aware of the penalties involved.
If you are looking for good toy rental services already, explore MyKhilona, a Mumbai-based online toy rental service, which has great reviews. They have a huge collection of toys, books, puzzles, games and others with economical and flexible membership plans.
To make the most of your child’s play and learning experience, plan out themes for each week. For example – ocean, animals, water, nature, shapes, colors among others. Cover the theme with toys, books, sensory experience, music and outdoor play. Play for children is serious work. Let them do it with these ‘ample’ toys!
Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by My khilona
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