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Eight questions to ask yourself when buying holiday toys

A shopper carries a stack of Toy Story

A shopper carries a stack of Toy Story 3 toys at Toys R Us. (Credit: Getty Images)

Shopping for kids this holiday season? You might want to take this list of questions with you: It covers The American Occupational Therapy Association’s tips for selecting toys that will make the most of play time, stimulating social, physical and cognitive development:

1.) Is the toy safe and age appropriate? If the suggested age is too young, the child will get bored quickly. Too old, and the child may be frustrated and give up, or be exposed to small parts that could pose a safety risk.

2.) Can the toy by played with in more than one way?

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3.) Does the toy appeal to several senses? Children’s attention is captured by colors, sounds, lights and textures. Look for toys that encourage them to push buttons, move parts, open doors, sort shapes.

4.) Can the toy be used in more than one place or position?

5.) Does the toy involve the use of both hands? This promotes motor skills development.

6.) Does the toy encourage thinking or solving problems? Board games and science kits are great for older kids. A jack-in-the-box is good for younger children.

7.) Does the toy necessitate communication and interaction? Dress up clothes, kitchen sets and play houses fit in this category.

8.) Is the toy worth the cost? How durable is it?

Here's a list of gift guides for all the little ones on your list:

Boys | Girls | Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers | Tweens and Teens

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