Educational toys have evolved from those such as the wooden abacus through to electronically-advanced sci-fi toys such as the Star Wars Force Trainer. Though the focus on which aspects are advantageous to a child’s learning do change, the desire by parents to buy the most appropriate educational toys for their children has remained steadfast.
With the availability of the internet reaching into the majority of homes, toy reviews are but a click away and so it makes sense that prior to purchasing toys – online or otherwise – you would check the toy reviews of the toy in question. Particularly, if a toy is expensive, then a review is usually deemed quite necessary to justify its cost.
Can you trust the online reviews of educational toys, though? Mostly they are written by parents, many of whom neither work in the childcare industry nor are affiliated with any branch of the education system. There is no set criterion on which to base the reviews so there is no constant. Additionally, many contain spelling and grammatical errors, which implies that the person conducting the review may not be suitable to do so.
As someone who frequently purchases toys online, however, I value highly anything anyone has to say when it comes to toy reviews and indeed, reviews of any baby or toddler products. As with most other parents, I am eager to see what others have discovered before me and regardless of whether their grammar or spelling is correct, the review is a day or ten years old, I want to know what they have to say about it.
Usually a parent will highlight something that a traditional or experienced reviewer may not. Possibly a danger, a threat, or an advantage to the toy that is not obvious, found only through using it. Though there is no set toy review standard, those who have taken the time to sit down and actually enter their experience deserve to have their experiences considered.
Funnily enough, it does seem that most of us as parents are actually looking for the same things in our educational toys which also seems to come through loud and clear in the toy reviews we write.
So that said, should you base your online toy purchases or Christmas toy list on toy reviews by random parents you’ve never met? There’s only really one answer to that.