As a parent, you are probably aware of how important playtime is for having a joyful, content toddler. It’s so important for building physical, social and mental skills that the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights recognizes it as a right that every child should have. Kids love to play with all sorts of things from everyday items like spoons to teddy bears. But the toys that grab their attention the most are usually the ones that move, produce light and make sounds.
So, you may have a little rascal at home that’s begging you to get him/her a remote-controlled toy. But the market is full of RC toys to choose from – from cars to trucks, helicopters, robots and more. When it comes to remote control gadgets that are appropriate for little children to play with, there are many factors to consider. Here’s a list of the most important ones to help you make the right choice.
The Type of Toy That Appeals to Your Kid
First of all, think about what kind of remote control toys appeal to your kid. Is your boy or girl more into fast cars or powerful monster trucks? Or maybe they like to have their own little robot to boss around? Those children who are fascinated with flying would love to own a helicopter that they can take to great heights. So, consider your child’s preferences and playing style when browsing the range of remote control gadgets from children’s educational toy stores.
Is It Age Appropriate?
For kids to use the toy safely and easily, it needs to be designed for their age. So, before buying, always consider the age rating on the toy. Some toys can have complicated controls that aren’t easy to master for a toddler. What’s more, young children shouldn’t be playing with toys that feature small, detachable parts that can easily break off and become a choking hazard.
On the other hand, if a toy is too simple for your kid, he/she might not be even interested in playing with it. So, if you’re purchasing remote control gadgets online, check their recommended age. If there isn’t any, which is rare, contact the retailer to ask them.
Remote control toys can run either on electricity or nitro fuel. Electric RC toys are powered by a battery and are the recommended choice for children, especially young ones. Most of the times RC toys run on rechargeable batteries which are built into the gadget and include a charger. But sometimes, both the controller and toy will require household AA or AAA batteries. Remote controlled toys that run on batteries are also cheaper than those that run on nitro fuel, but are also slower and less powerful.
So, if you have e bigger kid who’s tired of playing with battery-powered cars, you may need to invest in nitro-powered ones. He/she will love how fast and loud these toys can get. It might even get them interested in starting an RC car hobby.
The Type of Remote Control
The remote control is the part that fits in the hands so that kids can wirelessly control the toy. For beginners, stick control is usually the easiest to master. There are also pistol grip controls which can be used to steer the toy more precisely, however they are more difficult to learn how to operate. Some toys can even feature Bluetooth controls. This allows you to operate the toy with a phone, tablet or some other kind of smart device. However, these toys often come with higher prices.
It’s important to decide how big the toy should be. Toys that imitate full-sized cars, will have a scale that tells you how its size compares to that of the real thing. These RC toys usually come in ranges from 1/16 to 1/5. However, the bigger the car the more battery or fuel it will spend and the more expensive it will be. In addition, bigger toys can be too heavy for toddlers to carry around.
Important Safety Guidelines
RC toys designed for children are normally built with safety in mind. Younger kids can get injured by sharp edges, small parts and combustible chemicals, but older kids can also be in harm’s way if they don’t play with the toys in a safe way. In any case, it’s recommended to never play with these toys on roads, paths and driveways where there’s traffic. Children focused on operating the toy may not notice and incoming car. In addition, the risk is very high for drivers of regular-sized cars to swerve in order to avoid an incoming RC toy. The best place to play with such a toy safely is inside the home, in the back yard or in designated areas in the park and playgrounds.
Also, avoid running RC toys near water or wet environments. Especially if the toys aren’t built to be water-resistant. Such a toy can cause an electric shock when it’s exposed to water. Before assembling or charging the toy, always read the instructions carefully. While this may not be fun, it’s important that you know how to use the toy as recommended by the manufacturer.