Sparking your child’s imagination through play is a wonderful (and scientifically backed!) way to support their healthy and happy development.
Pretend play toys can be very helpful to achieve this.
These are toys such as mini houses, food sets, workbenches, nursery sets, and more.
But with so many options available, how do you even begin to pick the perfect playset for your little one?
Cue our handy guide right here!
Keep reading, and we will reveal some great tips and tricks to guide you towards the ideal pretend play toys that are suitable to your child’s age, interests, development stage, and more.
How Are Playsets Categorized?
When it comes to selecting the right type of playset, one of the first things you’ll want to consider is your child’s age.
This is because you’ll want your little one to enjoy playing with toys that they are familiar with, and that are also safe and present no choking hazards or other potential problems.
So, when browsing for your kid’s first playset, filter by their age first.
If your child is only 18 months, for example, you will need to rule out all of the 3+ toys. Some of them might seem suitable, but it’s very possible that they contain small parts that can pose a choking risk.
Some suitable toys for under-threes include mega blocks, activity centers, and certain workbenches and dolls’ houses. Remember, of course, to always double-check for any small bits!
Is your child over the age of three? Then, you will immediately realize that the choice is wider, as a child of this age can safely handle and play with a larger range of objects.
Playsets for this age group include tepees, more structured workbenches and dolls’ houses, smaller construction blocks, nursery sets, kitchen sets, car sets, and more.
Another useful factor to consider when choosing your kid’s playset is by understanding what they are interested in.
If your little one is very young and not talking clearly yet, you can simply observe them at play. At this age, they might be drawn to musical toys, or they might start to show a preference for cars, construction blocks, workbenches, or dolls’ houses.
As your child gets older, you can ask them what they love to play with, which will enable you to narrow down your search and only focus on those playsets that you know they will enjoy.
Older children often love to pretend play toys that allow them to imitate the adults around them. Are you a doctor? They might want a playset featuring medical tools. Is your partner a teacher? They might ask you to set up their own little dolls’ school.
Try not to limit your choice to your child’s gender. Your little boy might love playing with a vanity table or nursery set, and your little girl might be a fan of car garages and workbenches!
Follow their lead, and don’t force any specific toys on them.
A third aspect that you’ll want to pay attention to is your kid’s development stage. This, sometimes, is connected to their age – though not always.
Children with special needs or children who are reaching certain milestones (such as fine motor skills and problem-solving skills) a bit later might prefer to play with toys that usually fall under a different age group.
You, as the parent or carer of your little one, are who knows them best. Always trust your instinct and your understanding of your child when selecting toys, and don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to rigid categories!
How Do I Select the Best Playset for My Child?
Now that you know how playsets are generally categorized, how do you go about finding one that is perfect for your child?
First of all, you will need to ask yourself some questions:
- Where am I going to store the playset?
- How much space do I have available?
- Is this space safe, or does it require constant adult supervision?
If you have a large area in your lounge, kitchen, or child’s bedroom, then you can opt for bigger items such as tepees, large workbenches, and big dolls’ houses.
Perhaps, your child even has a dedicated playroom where you can fit pretty much anything they like, including items like toy kitchens and ride-on toy trucks.
Is space a problem? Don’t worry, because pretend play can still happen successfully in small areas!
Simply ensure that the toys that you pick are not going to crowd the entire area, as you will need to leave some space for your child to move around and play.
You will also want to pay attention to any sharp corners or other parts of the room that might not be safe for your child. If you are worried about any of that, the best thing to do is to child-proof the room (or area) before even buying any playsets.
In small areas, you might want to prioritize buying playsets that are taller as opposed to wider. These include, for example, toy car garage playsets, vanity tables, and certain dolls’ houses and kitchen sets.
You might also want to give some thought to the price that you are happy to pay for your kid’s toys.
If you are buying a playset for a special occasion, such as a birthday, then you might feel like spending a bit more.
But if you are thinking about buying a few different toys or playsets to create a nice play area for your little one, then it’s good to look for cheaper options.
Selection tips for Children’s Playsets:
- Make sure that your playsets are age-appropriate and suitable to your child’s development stage
- Buy something that you know your child is interested in
- Consider how much space you have available to store the toys and allow your child to play freely and safely
- Think about how much you are willing to spend
Are you ready to spark your little one’s imagination and support their healthy and happy development?
Shop our fantastic range of playsets today!