Information & Advice
"I think parents have always been interested in toys that develop their child," says Fiona Gant E-commerce assistant for toys and games. "What's happening nowadays, though, is that suppliers are becoming more aware of this demand. Children want to have fun with their toys but parents feel they are getting value if there's a learning aspect too. It's becoming more of an expectation that those two things are combined."
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But not every toy you choose for your child needs to have an obvious educational purpose.Good, old-fashioned imaginative playtime can also help develop your child."Having a creative mind is just as important in development," says Fiona. Many parents seem to agree. Sales of play-sets remain high: particularly those that relate to popular TV characters such as Peppa Pig and Bob the Builder.
"If it's a hit on CBeebies, it tends to be a hit for us!" says Fiona.
That said, the old classics are still out in force. Thomas the Tank Engine is still chugging down the track after more than 60 years.
And your children are equally likely to respond to their friends' favourite toys.
"You will see them take a liking to something they find at a friend's house or a nursery," says Fiona.Advertising is also a factor – and not just for children.
"You see an advert with all these happy little babies on, playing beautifully, and you think, 'Why can't I have that?'" laughs Fiona.
As your children get older, their taste in toys becomes more defined."They will start to develop tastes and interests of their own," says Fiona. "My son was Thomas-mad until he reached the age of five."
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