Children’s playsets are wonderful ways to spark your child’s imagination. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, playsets include a wide variety of options: nursery and kitchen sets, vanity tables, car garages, workbenches, dollhouses, trucks, and more. Choosing the right playset for your little one can be a daunting task, so we have created a buying guide to help you find the ultimate playset for your family.
Important Features to Consider:
- Developmental Compatibility
Consider Your Kid’s Age, Mental & Physical Development
One of the first and most important aspects, especially from a safety point of view, is buying a playset that is suitable to your child’s age and mental development, as well as compatible with their motor skills.
Generally speaking, playsets types are rated and available for:
- 1 to 3 years old – simple, soft playsets
- 3 to 6 years old – rigid, more complex playsets
- 6+ years old – complex playsets with many parts
These different age ranges include playsets that are designed to match and stimulate the skills of children belonging to that particular age group.
They are also designed and manufactured in compliance with stringent safety standards to ensure maximum security when your little one is playing with them.
At any age it’s important to always supervise children during play – even if you know that they are playing with safe, age-appropriate toys.
Some playsets, particularly pretend play toys such as vanity tables, kitchen sets, and workbenches, often feature small parts that can be dangerous for younger children.
Choose Something Based on Their Interests
Another useful way to pick the right playset for your child is by considering their interests. Cooking vs Art, Cars vs Kitchens, etc. Do they need gross or fine motor skills?
To maximize a child’s creative and growth, pediatric experts recommend parents not to be too tied to gender identity or roles: children can and should play with anything that they enjoy, irrespective of traditional gender associations.
These are some of the most popular interest areas for children:
- Music: in this case, you might want to select a playset including multiple musical instruments such as a xylophone, a small guitar or ukulele, and a drum set. You can also opt for musical toys or even musical books.
- Pretend Play: playsets belonging to this category include vanity tables and sets, kitchen sets, nursery sets, tepees, and small outdoor houses.
- Movement: if your little one never sits still, you can choose ride-on toys such as little bikes, trikes, and even mini cars or trucks.
- Creativity and little worlds: anything that sparks your child’s creativity belongs here, including dolls’ houses, construction blocks, and toy car garages.
Before settling for one playset, you’ll need to figure out how much space you have available.
If the toys you are looking at are mostly for outdoor use, you will need to have a garden or yard with enough room for your child to play in. Remember, adult supervision ensures maximum safety.
With indoor toys, you will still need to prioritize supervision and safety even when it comes to choosing where your child is going to play – not just what they are going to play with. If you have:
- Plenty of space: Great! If you have a large room or area for your child’s play, then anything from big workbenches to tepees can work. You could even create a few themed areas, such as one for pretend play, one for creativity and construction, and one for music. Every area will include interest-based toys and playsets, allowing your child the possibility to be stimulated and enjoy different types of activities.
- Lack of space: there is still a lot you can do for your child, even in smaller areas. Prioritize taller toys as opposed to wider ones, and select multifunctional playsets. These are great as they can offer your little one the chance to play with lots of different toys – and explore many of their interests – at the same time, regardless of how much space they have available. In a small room, you might even be able to fit a tepee, and fill it with smaller toys that your child loves, such as construction blocks, cars, or dolls.
Last but, certainly, not least, you’ll want to think about your maximizing your budget and getting the best value.
That way, if you are buying a playset for a birthday or another special gift, then you can spend a bit more – for example, a multifunctional kitchen and dolls’ house or a toy car playset would make for a very special present.
So when you consider your child’s development level, their interests, the size of the area they have to play in and the best value for your dollar, it is easy to narrow down your best options for a new playset for your creative preschooler. So now that you know what to look for, shop for playsets here for the best bang for your buck!