rocking horseI am excited about the upcoming International Toy Fair in New York City, February 14-17. Just walking through the Javits Center, one feels surrounded by innovative, creative people. Inventors of children’s toys and games have to be incredibly intelligent but also have a child’s whimsy to relate to their market.

Yesterday I was in a wonderful toy and hobby shop in Fairfield, Connecticut, Hobbytown. I explained to Celeste, the knowledgeable employee, that I reviewed children’s media for its language value and asked her about some of the products that I liked–if they sold well and just what was popular among parents who selected toys and games for their kids.I had specifically pointed out International Playthings’ Playdate puppet show. She said that it was a popular item because it met the criteria she sees parents using in selecting toys for their kids:

  1. Kids play independently with the toy.
  2. They can finish the game or pretend play and have a sense of pride in completing something.
  3. The toy or game is interesting to play with over and over as they play with it in a new way.
I will be on the look-out for new games and toys to share with you that meet the above criteria and also build language and pretend play. Get ready for my list!