How to choose toys in a store in 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we do the most basic things. It has changed the way we work as well as the way we shop. It is no longer a straightforward thing to walk into a store, choose an item, pay and walk out, as there are so many things we need to consider. When it comes to buying toys from a store, it is no different. Gone are the days when we could walk into a store and pick up all the products available to get a closer look or to test out a function. Traditional shopping for toys has changed forever.

With many safety procedures in place, many parents still prefer to shop at Toys’ R Us, knowing that their products and stores are clean and that all procedures are in place to keep staff and shoppers safe.

When buying toys from a physical store, it is important to have some kind of idea of what you are looking for, rather than aimlessly wandering around the store waiting for something to jump out at you. Knowing the child’s age and gender can come in useful, as most stores arrange their toys by these categories. While it is nice to pick up every toy and test its functions, this is not recommended, as you cannot know who might have touched it before you.

Look for sealed toys, as this means that the toy is clean and sanitized inside its packaging. It is also to make sure that the toy you buy can be cleaned without damaging it, as proper hygiene is key in these times. Read the care labels on items like stuff-animals and dolls, as these are often machine washable, which will save you the time and effort in handwashing them when they get dirty.

Toys such as action figures are difficult to clean, as they usually have a lot of small parts, but these too can be soaked in an alcohol solution without damaging the paint or detailing on the toy but check the care label just in case.

When it comes to paying for your purchase, it is easier to pay with a debit or credit card, as you would not need to hand it over to anyone, which means less contact and less exposure. While carrying cash is not a good idea, as it could be a breeding ground for germs, it is sometimes unavoidable. Keeping your hands clean and sanitizing them as often as possible after touching items in a store is a good idea.

While there is nothing more exciting than taking a child to a toy store and telling them to choose their own toy, smaller children need to be guided in what is age appropriate and will suit them best. Try not to let children touch all the packages of the toys, and rather to look around and narrow it down to a handful of toys. They too can keep their hands clean by sanitizing them frequently, as well as upon departure from the store.