Are Toys a Waste of Money or Worth Every Penny?

This is a common, and hotly debated question. The answer depends on the child, the toy, and the situation. A great toy can provide a child with valuable experiences that encourage the development of important life skills. Let’s dive into the subject of whether toys are a waste of money a little deeper.

Are Toys a Waste of Money?

Some toys are great for developing fine and gross motor skills. While others are great for strengthening social skills. In addition, some toys are great for fostering problem solving skills. These are definitely worth the money in my book.

When it comes to toys and their worth, you really do get what you pay for. While cheaper toys may be more affordable, they won’t last as long and will not provide as many opportunities for meaningful experience and skill development.

A great toy that is used well can be worth every penny. Another toy that is just so-so can be a complete waste of money, especially if your child stops playing with the toy after a week or two – or even an hour or two!

What Makes Toys Worth the Money?

One of the most important things that makes a toy worth the money is that it encourages play that is meaningful, interesting and fun. In addition, the toy should provide opportunities for a child to develop important life skills that will help them succeed in the future. These toys may be hard to find, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look for them.

Babies and toddlers are most likely to enjoy toys that encourage gross motor movement, sensory exploration, and the development of motor skills. Toddlers, preschoolers and school age children are more likely to enjoy toys that encourage imaginative play, pretend play, cooperative play and creative expression. A child in elementary school or beyond is more likely to enjoy toys that encourage problem solving and strategy development.

When shopping for toys for your child, you want to find the best toy for their age, stage of development and interests. A toy that encourages their favorite things to play with, their favorite things to do, and their favorite things to talk about is going to be more likely to be a toy they will enjoy.

Part of the enjoyment factor is likely to come from how you play with the toy. Make sure you are providing encouraging and supportive play experiences that are fun, motivated and meaningful.

Toys That Build Esteem

One of the first ways that you will see the worth of a toy is in how it can help your child develop a sense of self worth.

When your child develops a strong sense of self worth, she is likely to feel more confident, more capable and more entitled to take part in activities and in interactions with others. A strong sense of self worth can empower your child to grow into an adult who is happy and successful.

Children with a strong sense of self worth are more likely to be motivated and hard working. They are more likely to be creative, resourceful, and willing to take risks when trying new things. They are more likely to be emotionally resilient. A strong sense of self worth can also help your child develop a healthy sense of empathy and compassion for others.

Finding a toy that can help your child with self-esteem can be worth its weight in gold.

How Do Toys Foster Self Esteem?

When your child feels good about who she is and what she can do, she is more likely to feel good about herself. She is happier and more confident. She is more likely to feel confident that she can do the things, and the things she is interested in doing will work out for her. This is how toys can help a child develop a sense of self worth.

How Do Toys Build Social Interaction Skills?

When you provide toys that encourage your child to interact with others, the toy can be a means for your child to develop relationships with others. When you help your child develop the skills needed to play with others effectively, she is better able to initiate, engage, figure out what is going on, resolve conflicts and cooperate in play.

When these skills are developed, your child will be more likely to enjoy the opportunity to interact with others. She will be more likely to develop a sense of empathy for others and will be more likely to want to interact with others when there is a wide variety of things that she can do with them – i.e. toys that are social in nature like board games.

Why Toys Are Worth the Money: Final Answer

At the end of the day, a toy is worth the money if it is fun, if it is meaningful, and if it makes your child happy. If it is fun for you, your child and the others you play with, then the toy is probably worth the money.

This is especially true if the toy encourages meaningful play that fosters the development of valuable life skills. For example, a toy that encourages your child to develop social interaction skills is going to be worth the money because your growing child is going to be able to use her social interaction skills to enjoy the company of friends and playmates as she grows up.

A toy that encourages your growing child to develop language skills, fine and gross motor skills, and creative expression skills is going to be worth the money. Your child will be able to use her language, fine and gross motor skills and creative skills in the classroom, in social situations and in her future career.

Whether or not toys are worth the money is a personal question, but I hope I’ve shown that toys can have value, especially if you pick the right toy for your child and encourage her to enjoy using it. If you have your own opinion, stop by our Facebook group to learn more.

Photo of author

Kenny Kings

Kenny Kings is a chapter book author who is helping Paul Bellow fill the Hoosier Chapter Books blog with great content. You can find out more about Kenny Kings on the Kenny Kings bio page. Kenny Kings does not have children of his own, but he has more than enough nieces and nephews. With the help of the editorial team, he's been contributing to our blogging efforts to help families everywhere while promoting our chapter books. You can contact him at