Toys are gifts that keep giving.
Playing with age-appropriate toys helps with early child development. It also provides entertainment and engagement helping busy parents to unwind. A good toy also helps new parents bond with their children.
Toys stimulate the child's senses, encourage exploration and creativity, and provide opportunities for learning new skills. When they are appropriate for a child's age and abilities, it can help to ensure that the child gets the most out of their playtime.
When selecting toys, it is also important to consider the child's interests and needs and also, they should be safe, engaging, and able to help your child learn and grow.In this article, we will talk about what makes a toy age-appropriate with examples.
We have kept the suggestions only for children below 6 years of age as older kids can themselves express what exactly they are looking for to play with.
While there is a wide range of toys available, we as parents may sometimes need help in choosing the perfect toy. The key here is to choose the toy for the child and not for the grown-up who is buying them!
If you are looking for a toy for your child or for gifting, we hope you will find an answer.
Infant Toys(0-1 years)
Infant toys are designed specifically for babies and young children. These toys are typically made with the softest, allergen-free materials, smooth edges, and bright colors to capture the attention of young children and stimulate their senses.
Infant toys are important for the development of a child's cognitive, physical, and social skills. They can help a child learn to grasp objects, explore their surroundings, and interact with others. Many infant toys also provide a way for adults to bond with their children and engage in playtime activities together.
This is the first exploratory stage where they learn to make eye contact, recognize the parent, and respond to them with a smile. They are learning and discovering how their body moves, exploring sensory skills, by playing with the rattle, following the sound of the rattle, and so on. The baby is still figuring out the new world, trying to make sense of the surroundings.
Here are a few classic toys that are apt for babies’ sensory and muscle development:
Toddler toys (1-3 years)
Engaging a toddler is slightly easier as they are able to communicate and express their interest by then. They might not be completely ready for cooperative play, but they start playing alongside other kids observing and learning.
Toddler toys are designed specifically for children who are in the early stages of development, typically between the ages of 1 and 3. These toys are meant to provide an age-appropriate play experience that will help toddlers learn, grow, and develop their skills.
Toddler toys can take many forms, including stuffed animals, dolls, play kitchen sets, blocks, and more. They are typically made of durable materials that are safe for young children to play with, and they are often designed with bright colors, fun shapes, and engaging features to help keep toddlers entertained and engaged.
Overall, toddler toys are an essential part of the early childhood experience, helping children learn, grow, and explore the world around them through play.
Toys that are perfect for toddlers:
Preschooler Toys(3-5 years)
Preschoolers, typically aged 3 to 5 years old, are at a stage where they are curious and eager to learn about the world around them.
They are also starting to develop their fine motor skills and their ability to think and solve problems. Carefully designed toys can also help in getting children ready for school e.g. pre-writing skills like tracing and pincer grip for handling pencils.
Toys for preschoolers should be age-appropriate, safe, and engaging, providing opportunities for children to explore, create, and learn through play.
From building blocks and puzzles to dolls and action figures, there is a wide variety of toys available that can help preschoolers learn and have fun.
- Jigsaw Puzzles
- Pretend Play Toys
- Activity kits
- Art and Craft supplies
- Musical instruments - you could start with Harmonica
- Board games
Evergreen toys for kids of every age
There are toys that stay with your child not just as a toy but more like a companion. Kids outgrow their belongings with time, but some toys stay and keep their innocence alive.
Things to keep in mind:
- Safety: Toys that are not suitable for a child's age can pose a safety hazard. For example, small toys with small parts can be a choking hazard for young children, while toys with sharp edges or projectiles can be dangerous for older children.
- Developmental benefits: Age-appropriate toys are designed to help children learn and grow in specific ways. For example, toys for infants and toddlers are often designed to help with hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills, while toys for older children may be more focused on problem-solving and critical thinking.
- Interests and needs: Children have different interests and needs at different ages. By choosing toys that are appropriate for a child's age, you can help to ensure that they are engaging with toys that are of interest to them and that support their development.
- Educational value: Many toys have educational value, teaching children new skills and knowledge. Age-appropriate toys can help children learn in a way that is appropriate for their age and abilities.
Overall, choosing age-appropriate toys is important for a child's safety, development, and enjoyment.