Why the Children’s Toys We Typically See in Stores Are Very Limiting

And what’s best for kids.

Adelina Vasile
3 min readMar 19, 2022
A toy from a three-year-old’s personal collection, remotely resembling a helicopter. Photo by Adelina Vasile

An old Romanian poem talks about humans having three faces as they play, love, and become wiser throughout life:

The child laughs:
“Playing is my wisdom and love!”
The youngster sings:
“Loving is my play and wisdom!”
The old man is silent:
“Wisdom is my love and play!”
(Lucian Blaga — Three Faces)

Playing is serious business for children, indeed. But it also serves a global business with a global market segment.

How do we choose the right instruments for our children to play with?

Educators say that everything a child does should aim to stimulate their thinking, creativity, and social cooperation abilities.

When we put toys under scrutiny, it becomes obvious which ones help build these vital skills, and which aren’t. Dolls and babies, robots, cars, and helicopters, castles and others alike are far from ideal toys. What’s the matter with them?

They feed children with limited play options, telling them how to use those toys, rather than letting them set the rules. What can you do with a baby doll other than feeding and rocking? How about with a helicopter, other than having it fly? Or a robot, other than making it fight?



Adelina Vasile

Mother, educator, journalist, copywriter. I write about the things I need to learn myself.