Three major types of toddler purses are available, including learning or play pursues, dress-up purses and functional or transitional purses. The function of each type is different, so parents and caregivers transition their children through the kinds of purses depending on the child's needs. Any of these types may be commercially or homemade.
Learning or play purses are among the first purses a child might have. They often are made out of plastic. These versions are colorful with big handles and connectors. Manufacturers design these purses to let the child practice hand coordination and basic skills such counting. Some have computer chips that allow the purse to play music or say cute phrases, while others come with play versions of items such as lipstick or a mirror.
Dress-up toddler purses are made for slightly older toddlers. These are not designed to teach anything and are just for fun. It is common for these purses to be soft, fluffy or shiny, and they might include pictures of popular cartoon characters. With these purses, toddlers often pretend they are princesses, pairing the purse with a dress and crown, but small children also use these purses to imitate whatever a female caregiver might do with a real purse. One of the favorite things for a child to do with dress up toddler purses is to use it as a "treasure" container, putting any favorite small item into the purse and carrying it around regularly.
Transitional toddler purses are designed to teach a toddler how to use a real purse. They usually are made from more durable materials and are slightly more expensive as a result. The designs and prints are not as obviously child-oriented, although the size of the purse stays small to suit little hands. Even though these purses are made to be used the way real purses are, most children still use them to tote toys. Toddlers like taking these purses to the store with their caregivers, with some parents opting to give their toddlers play money to put in the purses.
Typically, learning or play purses are commercially made, as they are made of plastic in many cases. A caregiver might make a cloth version of this type of purse for specific functions, however, such as giving the toddler something on which to practice zippers or buttons. Caregivers may create dress up and transitional toddler purses, as well, particularly if they want a customized item. Many parents are too busy or do not have the craft skills to do this, though, so caregivers sometimes prefer to spend a small amount for a pre-made purse. Some parents feel it is important for their toddlers to have designer toddler purses, so they shun the idea of making their own and buy versions that easily compete with adult designer purses in price.