Children’s playsets are wonderful ways to spark your child’s imagination. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, these toys include nursery and kitchen sets, vanity tables, car garages, workbenches, dolls’ houses, trucks, and more. Find out how to choose the right playset for your little one based on the playset size and on your child’s age and interests.
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Consider Your Kid’s Age and Development
One of the first and most important aspects, especially from a safety point of view, is buying a playset that is suitable for your child’s age and development stage.
Generally speaking, playsets are available for:
- 1 to 3 years old
- 3 to 6 years old
- 6+ years old
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.
If your child is under the age of one, it’s important to always supervise them during play – even if you know that they are playing with safe, age-appropriate toys.
An older toddler can safely play in a more independent fashion, provided of course that they are always using age-appropriate toys.
When shopping for playsets, you should be able to easily work out whether the toy you are looking at is suitable for your child’s age, as all manufacturers are required to provide this information.
Don’t be tempted to buy something for older children even if your child is asking for it, or if you think they might be able to play safely with them.
Some children’s playsets, particularly pretend to 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.
Try not to be too tied to your kid’s gender, when you do this: children can and should play with anything that they enjoy, irrespective of whether they are girls or boys.
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, teepees, 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.
Consider the Size of the Toys
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, of course, that adult supervision is always required to ensure maximum safety.
With indoor toys, you will still need to prioritize safety even when it comes to choosing where your child is going to play – not just what they are going to play with.
- Plenty of space: you are pretty much spoilt for choice! If you have a large room or area for your child’s play, then anything from big workbenches to tepees can work great. 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.
Have a Budget in Mind
Last but, certainly, not least, you’ll want to think about your budget.
Most playsets come at affordable prices, but the biggest and most sophisticated ones can also be more expensive.
If you are buying a playset for a birthday or another special treat, then you can spend a bit more – for example, something like a multifunctional kitchen and dolls’ house or a toy car playset would make for a very special present.