It’s easy to buy toys for your own children, but it gets tricky when it comes to age appropriate toys for other kids. Today I’m discussing how to choose age appropriate toys which suit the developmental stages of a child. I’ll also explain the type of play which is usually seen at each developmental stage.
Picking Age Appropriate Toys from Birth to School Age
When it comes to choosing the right toy to buy for a child, there are two things you need to consider: their age and their developmental stage. Researchers have over the years matched a child’s age with a developmental stage. However, as parents we know that there is no textbook child.
Therefore, when buying toys, you need to use both their age and the developmental level they are operating at. Here are some of the ‘norms’ which can help you:
- From birth to six months – developmentally you will see babies reaching, playing with their hands and feet, turning their head to sounds and putting things in their mouths. Suitable toys are things which can be chewed and sucked upon, rattles and board books.
- Seven to 12 months – developmentally they are rolling and crawling, finding hidden things and putting in and taking out objects from containers. Suitable toys for this age are teething toys, nesting toys and water toys.
- One to two years old – developmentally kids enjoy walking, talking, playing next to children and listening to stories. Age appropriate toys include a push along wagon with blocks, pretend play toys and the good old cardboard box!
- Two to three years old – toddlers are beginning to test their limits by jumping, running and climbing. They are also building their fine motor skills, which makes now a great time to introduce wooden puzzles.
- Three to five years old – pre-schoolers are incredibly busy. In this developmental stage, they like to cut and glue everything, practice their problem-solving skills, start to take turns and begin to build more complex structures. Great toys for this age group include hand puppets, arts and crafts activities, plus educational board and card games.
Still having trouble finding the perfect gift
Take a read of our popular article Top Tips on Choosing Gifts for Kids. It’s packed with great information and makes buying presents for children simple.