Whether it’s puzzles or blocks, foam toys are a great choice to get for your children. Unlike those made from wood or plastic; they don’t cause injury, noise, or damage to flooring (or furniture) in the house.
But when buying a toy made from foam, you certainly shouldn’t just go for the cheaper stuff. Like all other things in life, you get what you pay for.
Instead, you should ensure the foam toy is actually great quality and will last longer for your children. But how exactly to do that?
The simple answer is ‘foam density’.
Foam Density of Toys
There are obviously some general considerations that determine the toy quality regardless of the type (e.g. customer reviews and material quality). For foam toys though, you should additionally watch out for foam density.
Foam density basically indicates how much foam was used in making the toy. The more foam used, the higher the toy quality (and sturdiness) will be.
To find the foam density for a toy, simply divide the package weight over its volume.
In case you do your toy shopping on Amazon, you can find the item weight (and product dimensions) on the product listing. The package dimensions are used to calculate the volume.
Example on Using Foam Density for Toy Shopping
Below is an example that compares some toy building blocks including foam density.
Please note that Amazon items below have good customer reviews rating. And to get the package volume, we multiplied the dimensions then divided the total by 1728 to convert from cubic inches to cubic feet.
|Item Price||Package Weight (lb)||Package Volume (ft3)||Foam Density (lb/ft3)|
|Block set A||$10.80||0.79||0.34||2.32|
|Block set B||$25.49||1.81||0.32||5.66|
|Block set C||$19.95||1.45||0.27||5.37|
|Block set D||$20.97||2.20||0.40||5.50|
|Block set E||$35.95||2.71||0.46||5.89|
You can see that set A has a much lower foam density than the others which makes the product of inferior quality. So, it’s no wonder its price is a lot cheaper (by at least $9).
The highest quality one is set E (our own product), which has a foam density that’s higher than the rest. This justifies the apparently expensive price tag.
In summary, here are your options in this shopping scenario:
- If you want to save as much money as possible and don’t care about the quality, go with set A.
- If you’re on a budget but still want decent quality, buy set C or D.
- If you’re looking for the top quality regardless of the cost, grab set E.
Please note this process applies mostly to foam building blocks and puzzle playmats. For jigsaw puzzles, you should use the dimensions of assembled puzzle (rather than the whole package) in order to calculate the volume accurately. This is because the puzzle pieces are typically not snugged inside the package. Also, you should use the weight of the puzzle alone if the packaging type is not the same for all the products.
This is how to utilize foam density in order to gauge the quality of foam toys before you buy. It’s just a matter of performing some simple calculations based on the product data.
Of course, you will have more reliable data while shopping in-store as you can measure the weight and volume more accurately.
This article will hopefully help you out the next time you want to get a foam toy for your little ones.