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Common Toy Terms
The world of toys can be puzzling. Toys exist for children of every age and interest. Toys may be classic favorites or part of more recent toy trends, and knowing the names and categories of popular toys will make the next trip to the toy store that much easier.
Action Figure - A doll depicting popular characters, such as a super hero or villain. These toys encourage imaginative play and are especially popular among both boys and girls. Dolls, large and small, can also be considered a type of action figure.
Educational Video Game - A video game geared toward teaching language, mathematical, or other academic concepts. Games may stand alone or be part of a larger curriculum. A local school can direct parents to stores which stock these types of games.
Mechanical Puzzle - A challenging toy that requires manipulation of pieces and components to win. Puzzles may be geared towards kids of all ages, and often require novel thinking and problem solving in order to figure it out. These types of toys are great for cognitive development.
Science Kits - Equipment and supplies for running experiments or building new things. These may require some basic household supplies, and may be suited for anything from studying insects to building robots.
Children's Instruments - Child-appropriate adaptations of common musical instruments are fun for all and may be very basic, suitable even for a baby, or more advanced for older children.
Craft Kits - Supplies for creating arts and crafts projects. Children may make baby dolls, bags, bird houses, or any number of other items. Many kits include directions for specific projects.
Miniature Figurines - Small figures for imaginative play. These tiny dolls may come with accessories such as houses and pets. Their small size makes them easy for children to carry with them.
Toys are a great way to get the imagination moving, from games and puzzles to arts & crafts and dolls. Kids love toys, but so do adults. There are many adult-oriented board games, video games, and computer games on the market meant for older entertainment. And for kids, although some toys are just plain fun, others are educational and encourage hand/eye coordination.
Toys can include action figures, collectibles, baby dolls, robots, and stuffed animals. Retail toy stores sell products of all kinds aimed at boys and girls of varying ages. Some stores target the baby and toddler set, with educational videos, puzzles, activity books, and classic games. Others target teens with video games. And still others offer science related toys for children that stimulate problem solving.
Retailers typically buy their stock from wholesalers at a bulk discount. Children and their families can shop in store or even online. Toys can also be found within department stores or book stores.
Toys have been around in some fashion for hundreds of years. Even a stick and rock can be a toy. The first mass produced toy bears emerged in the early 1900s, called Teddy Bears, after President Theodore Roosevelt. In just a few years, these popular stuffed animals were being manufactured on a large scale all over the globe.
From music to baby dolls to action figures, toy stores are the places to buy these items, which feature regular sales and blowout deals. Consumers can find out more by browsing Internet sites and checking out advertising fliers in the newspaper.