Looking deeper into the toy box: Understanding caregiver toy selection decisions

Brenna Hassinger-Das, Ashley Quinones, Carmela DiFlorio, Rebecca Schwartz, Nowou Cyrielle Talla Takoukam, Marie Salerno, Jennifer M. Zosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Children's caregivers are their first play partners, and toys influence the quality of these caregiver-child interactions—with research suggesting that electronic toys are not as supportive of these interactions as traditional toys. In this study, we investigate (1) toy use amongst caregivers and infants, with an eye towards investigating the prevalence of traditional vs. electronic toys, (2) caregivers’ preferences when selecting electronic or traditional toys for their children and (3) whether caregivers’ choices are impacted by the claims made by toy manufacturers. Sixty-three primary caregivers participated in a survey asking about their toy selection decisions. Results demonstrate the prevalence of electronic toys (even for the youngest infants) as well as caregivers’ preferences and the potential of toy descriptions to impact caregivers’ toy purchasing decisions. Despite scientific evidence that there may be a developmental cost to electronic toys relative to traditional toys, after highlighting the toys’ developmental benefits, caregivers became more likely to select electronic toys for their infant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101529
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
StatePublished - Feb 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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