Fortunately, giving a child any toy is a guaranteed way to put a smile on their face. While kids might not appear picky about toys, there are still a few tricks to help you buy the best toys for the kids in your life.
Why do kids need toys?While a mountain of toys certainly isn’t necessary, toys aren’t as frivolous as they might seem. The types of toys a child plays with can impact their mental, emotional, social and physical development. Playing with toys is not only fun but can also be a learning tool.
How to choose age-appropriate toys?
Not all toys are appropriate for all ages, and there are a few developmental stages to be aware of when choosing toys.
0-12 months: Babies under one year old can’t move independently or see very far. During this stage, focus on toys that stimulate the senses, including sight, sound and touch. Toys can be colorful, light up, noisy with rattling or crinkly sounds or easily gummed like these teething toys.
1-3 years: Toddlers will love anything that helps them use their newly learned motor skills, as well as those with an immediate cause and effect. They will love pushing and pulling, toys where they press a button and something immediately pops up, shape sorters and musical instruments.
3-5 years: Young kids are rapidly learning during this stage and using their creativity. Age-appropriate crafts are excellent, including modeling clay or sand. Educational toys like puzzles or alphabet games are as helpful as physical toys with exerting their endless energy.
6-8 years: Kids at this stage are learning what they like and don’t like, so trying new toys like science kits, magnets or board games will be helpful. Friends are also important during this age,so they may want to do whatever their friends try.
8 years and up: By this stage, kids have started to develop their passions and personality, so buying them toys that pertain to their interests is essential. Mastering a task and a sense of completion is also crucial at this stage, so crafts, video games and sports items are great ideas.
How to find the best Toddlers’ toys?
Toddlers are little explorers who learn by doing. Play gives your child a great opportunity to develop and practice new skills at their own pace by following their unique interests. The toys and playthings your child has available can shape development in important ways.
Toddlers love to take apart, put back together, pull out, put in, add on, and build up. Choose toys that are “open-ended” in the sense that your child can play many different games with them. For example, wooden blocks or chunky plastic interlocking blocks can be used to make a road, a zoo, a bridge, or a spaceship. Toys like this spark your child’s imagination and help develop problem-solving and logical thinking skills.
For example, wooden blocks can foster creativity when a child imagines them as a person, animal or castle. Puzzles promote problem-solving and spatial relations skills, a trampoline encourages physical activity and builds muscle, while play-doh develops a child’s fine motor skills.
Choose toys that are appropriate for the child's age, that are helpful to the child, and that the child likes. ExploraToy helps children to realize their potential!