Things to remember when toy shopping

The holidays are approaching, and that means buying toys not only for our own kids but for nieces, nephews, friends' kids, and more. It can be overwhelming finding gifts for kids of different ages, not to mention gifts that will actually be used and not stashed away in a closet somewhere. And toys are pricey! You don't want to pick something up that will break in a few uses, and you want something that is well-made. So here are some things to remember when toy shopping.

Establish a budget. Don't just go toy shopping with a Santa's list of kid's names - set a budget for each child. It will help streamline the process (and save your bank account).

Do your research. Don't just show up at a toy store and start randomly buying things without looking into what's out there, what's popular, what's well-rated or well-reviewed. Have there been any recalls on the toys you're considering? Are there other brands that make the same item and should be looked into as well? It's no secret: there are a lot of toys out there. You want to make sure you know all of your options.

Buy things in person. Online shopping is convenient and can be a real time-saver, but when it comes to toys, you want to make your final purchases in person. You want to be able to see the toy, touch it, press its buttons, and really see the quality of your choice. 

Build upon existing sets rather than start something new. It can be tempting to buy the new Captain Lightning superheroes set, but if your child doesn't have anything from that set at home already, you may want to consider a different toy. But if he or she is into Lego, then it's probably better to continue to expand their existing collection.

Send in the warranty card. A lot of toys, especially larger ticket items, come with warranty or recall cards that you can send in with the postage already paid. If anything is ever recalled, you'll be notified. 

Be patient. At this time of year toys go on sale all the time. There's still a few weeks before Christmas and Hanukkah, so don't rush into any toy purchases. Use apps like flipp to make wish lists and stay on top of specials and deals week to week.

Melany xx