Personalized toys are absolutely awesome. Gift ideas for children often include an endless list of toys.
And why not? Kids absolutely love toys and many of these are made specifically to aid in children’s growth and development.
You have toys that test their motor skills like sports toys, those that aid their mental growth like puzzles, those that help develop their social skills like pretend playsets, and those that boost their creativity like craft sets.
As with almost any kid out there, any age-appropriate toy would do. But if you want to make sure that they’ll like it you might have to look into their interests and their overall personality to ensure that the toy you pick out matches them well.
If you want to take it another step further and make them feel that you really thought of them when you picked out that toy, you should really consider personalizing.
What is personalization and how do you personalize toys?
When you personalize something, you make it so that it is tailored to suit a specific person.
Now, with toys, you can make it so that it is specially made for one specific kid. Personalization can be done in one, several, or maybe all of these ways:
1) Fit to size
Whether you’re adjusting the height, width, thickness, or even weight of a toy, if you are doing it to fit a certain little person, you are already personalizing it.
Since children come in all shapes and sizes and are always in constant growth, some toys may need to be adjusted to fit them in this peculiar season of life that they are in.
Some examples of toys that can be adjusted in size to fit are costumes, furniture, and pretend paraphernalia like cookware, tools, and playhouses.
You can watch in sheer satisfaction as your little one comfortably and confidently maneuvers his toy that fits perfectly in his hand, or how a costume fits so perfectly that your baby looks like a shrunken little doctor, or how realistic their pretend play can get in their perfectly-proportioned playpen.
2) Choice of color or design
Another way to customize a toy is by altering its appearance to suit a specific child’s liking. It could be as simple as choosing a favorite color or something more elaborate like a special print or a favorite character that is painted onto the toy itself.
Choosing a color or print that a child likes will encourage him or her to play more or take better care of the toy since it comes in his or her favorite color or print or that it has his or her favorite character on it.
3) Imprint of initials or name
This is probably the most common but also the classiest way to personalize a toy.
Putting a child’s name on a toy or carving it to spell out their names is simply charming and timeless while properly identifying that toy as the property of that child.
This can be done through engravings on metal or wood, also embossed, painted, or printed. It can be somewhere tucked away in a secret crevice that only a few know, or it can be bold and large enough to cover the entire toy.
4) Picture print of the owner
So this is the most personalized toy that can actually get. It will ensure that the toy is surely one of a kind since you are placing the actual picture of the owner on the product itself.
It could be a bit of a challenge to do this with tact. It could also be a challenge to find stores that cater to this or toys that this type of personalization actually goes well with, so be prepared to doing a little bit of a DIY.
But if you do find the perfect toy that a picture could go with and a store that does it for you, it could turn out to be something totally unique and special that your child can truly call his own.
5) Other forms of personal imprint
Other parents may want to take it up a notch when becoming creative in personalizing their kids’ toys.
Some ideas include imprinting a fingerprint, a signature, a dated constellation, and plenty more. There can be an endless array of options when imprinting toys for personalization that has or has not even been thought of yet.
If you want more ideas, you can easily search online or ask in crafting forums. The key here is to make the toy as personal as possible without being too obvious about it like how a name or a picture does.
If you find the right way to imprint the toy, it can be something so meaningful, timeless, and deeply personal.
What toys are best when personalized?
Stuffed characters and their fluffy nature can be the perfect toy to personalize since these are the types of toys that a child tends to keep for a long long time, even right up to adulthood sometimes.
Something as sentimental as a baby’s first Teddy bear, for example, is a great toy to personalize since it accumulates a lot of sentimental value along the way as the child grows.
2) Toy Box
Another great playroom item to personalize is the good old toy box. It holds all of your kid’s prized possessions and might even make them more amenable to picking up their toys after playtime since they’re putting it in their very own special box.
A good wooden toy box might be best since it is proven to be more durable and less prone to breakage, what with kids banging things and tossing their toys every now and then.
Also, it is easiest to personalize since you can simply carve the owner’s name onto it.
This makes the imprint permanent, so the box itself can survive childhood and maybe evolve into a box of trinkets, memories, books, or even documents in the future when its owner is already full-grown.
From soft dolls to collectible Barbies, personalizing these well cared for toys is a great idea.
There is nothing that could warm a little one’s heart more than a little doll of their own.
Also, if you’re going for a Barbie doll, chances are, there might be other kids out there with the exact same doll, so personalizing it gets rid of the confusion and eliminates the possibility of kids fighting over it.
4) Art Set
Yet another endearing thing to personalize for your little one is their very own part set. If your child is into arts and crafts, they will surely appreciate their very own personalized art set.
This is not only limited to art set as you could easily do the same for other hobbies that your child may be interested in such as a medical kit set, a cooking set, a tool set or a gardening set.
5) Story Book
This is mighty popular these days as online bookstores have begun offering custom made stories for little kids.
It is so cool since your child becomes the main character of the story, so he or she gets to read about great adventures that his or her character portrays within the story.
This gets your little one all the more involved during storytime, and could even develop and deep and lasting love for reading in the long run.
6) Play Mat
Playmats are an essential addition to any playroom these days.
They serve a number of purposes like providing a pop of color in the room, presenting fun and educational features that you can install, and most important of all, protecting your precious one from bumps and bruises while playing by providing a bit of cushion against the flooring, especially if you have hardwood or tile floors.
Customizing play mats is just yet another way to label your child’s properties in a cute and fun way.
Also, since play mats can be quite large, they are perfect for overall customizing and personalizing your child’s playroom or nursery.
7) Name Train
This absolutely adorable mobile toy should be a staple in every playroom. If you’re not so familiar with it, it is a toy train made usually with wooden pieces, each link carved out as letters that spell out your child’s name.
Of course, the longer your child’s name is, the longer the train.
But there is no reason to despair for kids whose names are on the shorter end like Ben or Ana since you can easily slip in a few other pieces that are carved as shapes or characters to fill out the length of your custom train.
Where to find toys that you can personalize:
For the longest time, personalizing toys has either been a DIY effort or something you have made at specialized shops that cost you so much.
However, these days, you can find many of these modern specialty shops that can easily custom toys for your child. Below are some of the most popular ones:
1) Personal Creations
This shop has a vision of taking memorable moments, infusing them into their products and deepen relationships through their items.
They have so many toys to choose from so you can definitely find something that fits your child’s personality, hobbies, and interests.
2) Things Remembered
They are North America’s leading retailer for personalized gifts. If you are looking for a trusted brand for your kids’ toys, this is probably it.
They have been existing for the past fifty years, constantly improving and perfecting the art of embroidering and engraving items, and they have come a long way in terms of technology.
You can check out their online catalog, but they also have retail stores scattered around the US where you can actually pick out the items you want.
3) Uncommon Goods
By the name of the company itself, you can expect to find some very unique pieces that only your child will have.
Unique toys eventually end up as valuable childhood keepsakes, so investing in one of heir products is definitely a good idea.
The original vision of the store was to connect crafters to buyers for that truly personalized experience to produce goods that are truly like no other.
If gifting is your main purpose for finding a toy and you need a bit of inspiration, Gifts.com is quite happy to help.
They have thousands upon thousands of gift selections and many of those just happen to be toys. If you’re running out of ideas, they even put up gift guides and tips to match the gift to the receiver.
Not only that, they make sure that the items you receive are not just unique and charming but also of top quality as they assure that they have only the best brands to supply them.
They may have a limited variety of options for toys, but what sets Shutterfly apart is that they use photos to customize their items.
You can go for the classic Teddy bear, memory games, puzzles, and even customized capes that bear your child’s favorite photo.
You can simply pick out a snap from your camera roll and have it printed in one of their items for that truly unique and personalized experience.
All in all, finding that perfect toy for your little one and personalizing it is a great idea for parents, godparents, grandparents, or just about any other relative when looking for something to give a child.
Personalizing toys adds that special touch that lets a child know how much he has been thought of in the gift selection process.
It also gives a solid sense of ownership, possibly encouraging the child to take better care of the toy as opposed to if it were just like any other generic toy.
Finally, personalized toys make awesome memorabilia, sort of like a special keepsake that they can treasure forever.