Toy cranes come in nearly every size, color and shape.

Choosing the right toys can be such a concern. There are so many toys to choose from and you only have so much money and space. Getting the right toy can save you a lot of hassle. This is particularly true of a toy crane, which is usually included as part of a construction set. The wrong crane won't hold interest and you'll have lost money on something that could have been loads of fun.


Think about the toy crane and if it's compatible with your tot's existing toys. It's hard if the toy crane is too small to play with other big machine toys or too big to play with a small train set. What toys does your little one love? If he has a toy set with people, can they sit on this crane? Choose a compatible crane so it doesn't get sidelined from his other toys.


Almost any material will work for a crane -- wood, plastic, metal -- the key is choosing a crane that is well made. It should feel sturdy in your hands when you try it out. If you can't try it out, look for a brand that is reputable either through your own experience or online feedback. Some cranes, like wood ones, will be more valuable because they are handcrafted and will last for generations. These would go well with a set of wood toys.


If the crane jams or won't roll, your tot isn't going to want to play with it for long. At the very least, the crane should swivel, roll and have a functional arm. Some cranes are battery-operated. This can be a positive or negative. If it makes the crane more interesting (like remote-controlled cranes) and it is well-crafted, you might want to invest in a battery-operated crane. Otherwise, you'll be replacing batteries in a noisy toy that isn't worth the time and money.


For little kids, avoid cranes that have long pointy objects. All cranes have arms, but some are longer and more sharp than others. Steer clear of cranes that are so big that children can ride them, which translates to an increased risk of injury such as falling off. Other safety factors include breakable parts or those that can pinch little fingers easily. There's no doubt that if your toddler can snap a piece off, he'll put it in his mouth next, and that's a serious choking hazard. Also, painted toys should feature lead-free paint, according to KidsHealth. Look for toys that are designed for your tot's age group and stick to those recommendations.