The Perfect Present or Why We Buy Toys

The worldwide toy industry is worth billions (yes billions) every year and I know that at least some of that is the result of my love of buying toys. But I’m not the only one, a quick poll of my friends found only one person who had not bought at least one toy in the preceding year with most of them clocking up something between five and one hundred and twenty. (OK she was an anomaly – she has five kids of her own, fourteen nieces and nephews and three godchildren, she also mumbled something about needing something for friends’ kids and birthday parties – personally I think she is a toy-a-holic).

So why do we buy toys? What are we looking for? How will we know when we find it? What, in a nutshell, is the perfect present?

As the sister to a much younger sibling, a mother of four children, an auntie and now a soon-to-be grandmother, I guess I am no different to the rest of the world.  I buy toys for Christmas, (insert present giving festival of choice), birthdays, special occasions, long absences and often just because. Mostly I do it out of love and the desire to see the children in my life happy, engaged, excited.

There is nothing like watching a child receive something they value, watching them play with it, watching them learn from it – I get such a kick out of it sometimes wonder who is getting the present. But choosing the right thing sometimes has my head spinning. I occasionally walk into one if those ginormous toy super stores and I wonder how on earth I am going to make a choice. How will I know what to spend some of my hard earned pay-check on so that it will be appreciated, it will last longer than the packaging does and it won’t be forgotten behind the sofa never to be seen again. How do I know I am not being ripped off and the child won’t be disappointed?  How do I find the perfect present for the kids in my life?

And so it began, one woman’s quest to find the toys and books and games that will hopefully offer good value to the people who buy them and bring joy to the child who receives them. One woman’s search for the perfect presents for kids.