Life is better when it’s filled with rainbows, glitter, and unicorns. The brightly colored manes and shiny horns of unicorns have fascinated people of all ages for centuries. However, they have grown more popular over the last couple of years. While adults may not realize it, playing with unicorns adds a sense of magic to every childhood adventure.
Fuel your child’s love of these magical creatures by purchasing them unicorn-themed toys. We created a list of the 10 best unicorn toys to help narrow your search. Whether you choose a plush or a figurine from the list, your little one will be able to stimulate their imagination by engaging in pretend play. Get ready for your house to become even more magical.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Waliki Toys Bouncy Horse
- Develops Balance
- Cabbage Patch Jewel Mermaid
- 18 Months and Up
- North America Rainbow Unicorn
- Hand Painted
Criteria Used In Evaluation of the Best Unicorn Toys for Kids
It doesn’t hurt that the unicorn phenomena has become a trend among adults as well as kids! This makes it much easier on the creative side of the research criteria that comes up in the development of most of these toys. It can range from just a plain unicorn, to Pegasus the Unicorn! If that’s not quite your speed, we add elves to the mix! The elf can transform into a unicorn! Your child becomes the unicorn or the elf! Your child can ride the unicorn! Your child can imagine themselves in the realm of the unicorns, either as a participant or an observer!
With all of the basic criteria met and out of the way, the focus can get to the fantastic….which is what product itself is all about. The unicorn itself is a stretch of the imagination. So why not stretch it out even more to the benefit of child development?! With it already dancing or prancing around in the psyche of the culture for the last 1,000 years, we can give it the update that it deserves for generations into the next millennia.
It’s as basic as reading a story to your child that begins with “Once upon a time.” What has changed?! With timelessness of something like the Star Wars franchise, which keeps reinventing these old tales of mechanized “flying horses,” knights and bringing light to the universe, the research took us as far back as a storybook and as far forward as the possibility of interdimensional travel! The thing that remains constant, the thing that remains the same, is the interdimensional travel of the imagination in the present! This is the thing that is so vital to the development of your child and how balanced he or she will be and become.
In our current era, a lot has gone into creating toys that non-gender biased, as they should. The result of this has been the resurgence of the unicorn and dragon lore. There’s pretty much a unanimous agreement that neither a boy’s nor a girl’s brain processing these two creatures differently from other toys that might require either mechanical aptitude on the one hand, or an ability to nurture on the other.
What Determines the Best Unicorn Toys
When we asked the kids of our team of researchers what kind of unicorn toy they would like to have, we were quite surprised and pleased at their answers. And this provided us with a very clear direction of what we need to look for in the different one-horned horse playthings to include on this particular list. We then correlated the remarks of these kids with customer feedback and product reviews, making sure that no product with a satisfaction rating of fewer than 4.1 stars ever made it to our final list. Of course, it wasn’t always easy because even with this high-enough cut-off score, there was still quite a handful of them.
Toys are not only intended to be played with. These must also serve a specific purpose which may not be readily apparent. As such, we took the liberty of determining the developmental benefits of these products on kids. It was imperative that these playthings addressed at least one area of childhood development to gain a spot in our list. The more developmental benefits the plaything provides, the better were the chances that it is to be placed in our top 10.
Of course, safety is also important, especially for very young kids. The process used in the design and manufacture of these play objects were evaluated for the safety of the materials used and the overall integrity of how the different components were built. One of the major concerns of parents everywhere is the exposure of kids to harmful chemicals and potential choking hazards from these toys. We made sure there were none of that.
A Look at the Importance of Mythical Creatures in Child Development
From dwarves and elves to hobbits and flying horses and horned steeds, many children’s stories are riddled with fantastic creatures that are best left to the imagination. While we can only say that these are mere fiction, many children believe them to be true. Mythical creatures like unicorns and winged horses have fascinated kids for many millennia. They have formed the backbone of the imaginative potential of kids. It is for this reason that experts believe children’s belief in myths is healthy. It doesn’t really matter whether it is believing in unicorns or Santa or elves, children can reap quite a handful of benefits from believing in these myths.
But why is it important, anyway? Everything has something to do with a kid’s imagination. This is a cognitive process that defies logic for the simple fact that it doesn’t have to be based on observable truths. For instance, believing in the existence of unicorns doesn’t require the presentation of solid proof. One only needs to conjure images in the brain to create the much-needed proof. This requires making complex cognitive processes that take into account a variety of factors including memory, logic, and experience. These are then fully integrated into one simplified interpretation of the concept such that a unicorn is a horse that has a horn.
It may seem simple enough but the process of coming up with this generalization is complex. It is in these processes that children are able to hone their cognitive skills, paving the way for more complex cognitive abilities like critical thinking and divergent reasoning. So, the next time your child believes in something as far-fetched as a unicorn, let him or her be. It’s a cognitive exercise for your child.
The Bottom Line
Mythical or not, unicorns have endured the passing of time. From the annals of ancient history to today’s children’s storybooks, these fabled creatures continue to amaze us with their magical characteristics. With the 10 best unicorn toys for kids in 2018, you can fuel your child’s imagination to greater heights.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much thought has gone into the development of these toys?
A: It all varies from manufacturer to manufacturer! Some of these toys can be perceived as “low-grade” based on reviews….unfortunately, there will always be haters no matter how fantastic a product can be. Other manufacturers are quite thoughtful and do extensive research. For instance, Schleigh is one of the best! Sometimes the quality of the item is reflected in the price. It is recommended that you look at many reviews from various sites before purchasing.
Q: Is a high-priced collector’s Item like a Schleigh unicorn really appropriate for a child?
A: It can be! It’s your call as a parent. As far as having an item that will grow with your child, no one could ask for anything better! If the parent starts early on teaching and showing an appreciation for quality items, then this value will be passed on to the child. It can be seen as a lesson in responsibility and caregiving for things that come into your child’s possession.
Q: Is there any use in getting fantasy-themed toys for an infant?
A: It’s true that they might not recognize something like a unicorn, since their brains haven’t developed enough to differentiate…but, the suggestion is to begin socializing them as early as possible! We all know that unicorns are pretty much in our cultural DNA at this point. So, if you can combine this with a practical toy that strengthens physical and cognitive development–then that’s the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow!
Q: How do I find the “right” product for my child?
A: The products we’ve shown have a wide range. Mostly, it depends on the developmental needs of your child! Some kids tend to be more analytical, so we have something like the Mosaic puzzle that uses a cross-stitched letter-to-number variable pattern. Other kids are more kinesthetic, so we get the cuddly soft dolls and unicorn animals. For the mechanically minded, there’s the introduction to a gyroscopic flying unicorn. With an age range from 6 months to 6 years, there’s a product for each stage of development that can touch each interest.
Q: Is there a connection between my kid’s imagination and unicorns?
A: Unicorns are magical, and they represent mystery, finesse, grace, and strength. Their presence as toys symbolizes the power of imagination. Through play, kids have the ability to form mental images where they live or play with their mythical creatures. Such imagination is the ultimate creative power and is a key ingredient for your kid’s development.
Q: Are unicorn toys suitable for outside use?
A: Although these wonderful bouncy unicorn toys are obviously primarily for indoor use, there is no reason your kids can’t enjoy them outdoors. However, it’s best to avoid exposing these beautiful creatures to elements. Although relatively durable, they won’t take much abuse or heavy usage.
Q: Do unicorn toys have any educational benefit?
A: Yes, they do. Kids are eager to learn about the world around them, and unicorn toys present a safe and stimulating way to discover their senses. Every new shape, color or shape of a unicorn toy is a learning experience for kids. Unicorn toys offer a magical way to help your kids recognize familiar words and learn empathy along with language and rehearse different situations.
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