Children are always so involved with their toys. They spend most of their time with toys from when they wake up until they go to bed at night.
Giving your child suitable toys for their age will help them develop and grow. For instance, you can not provide a writing gadgets to your newborn. So it is essential to always choose age-appropriate toys for your little kids.
Most parents have yet to learn which toy is suitable for what age. To help out, we have discussed a detailed guide to age-by-age toys in this article.
So parents can pick the right toys for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and pre teens.
Toy-age ranges from 6 months to seven years as toys help kids explore the world and improve their growth. Toys are the source of learning for kids. For example, if you give your child a talking toy that mimics phrases and words, they will enjoy speaking different words to it. Consequently, kids will get more engaged and learn more words. Learning through toys is one of the best ways to help a child to quickly pick up things.
Choosing age-appropriate toys for your kids will help them in several ways. According to research, a child's growth is significantly influenced by the toy they desire. Furthermore, the importance of correct and age-appropriate toys is as follows:
- Age-appropriate toys develop kids’ senses.
- Your child will learn skills as per their age.
- Your child will have optimal effect in all phases of their lives.
- Advanced toys or toys that are not age appropriate make kids least interested and frustrated.
- Age-appropriate toys encourage safe play.
Newborns, infants, toddlers, and juniors have different interests and demands regarding toys. Infants are more into vibrant color toys or one that helps in activating their senses. Toddlers are interested in toys that involve their concentration alongside their bodies. Moreover, junior children prefer activity toys like cycles, bicycles, etc.
In the following section, we will be discussing age-appropriate toys for all age groups from infants to preteens.
Infants need toys that are simple. The infant friendly toys include rattles, teethers, musical gadgets and anything that triggers their sight, hearing, touch and other senses.
Here are some toys options for young and older infants so that you have better knowledge of which toy to choose for your baby.
Younger Infants (0-6 Months)
During the first three months, your baby will observe the surroundings and environment. Try to make their environment colorful with soft, cheerful sounds so they can explore their hearing sense along with their surroundings. Furthermore, from birth till three months, infants have less grasping power. Therefore, they need hanging toys too. Up to six months, your baby gains grabbing control. In addition, they developed their senses, too, including vision, hearing, touch, and movement.
Best Toys for Younger Infants
- Squeeze toys
- Light, cheerful musical toys
- Bright and vibrant surroundings rattles
- Stuffed toys
- Touch and feel books
- Baby play gym mat
Older Infants (7-12 Months)
From seven to twelve months, your baby has gained neck control and is able to sit and crawl. At this stage, their interest and need for toys changes. Now they are no longer fit for play gym. As they start sitting, they must need activities that help with hand-eye coordination. Moreover, toys that stimulate their senses improve gross and fine motor skills.
Best Toys for Older Infants
- Books made of cloth material
- Musical and talking toys
- Baby dolls
- Large blocks
- Nesting toys
Also Read: What Gear Does a 6-9 Month Old Need?
The interest and developmental milestones change when baby transitions from the infant to toddler phase. Now they are grown up and start responding to their surroundings. Many toddlers start walking at this stage and need more engaging toys to aid their physical development and growth. Moreover, at this stage, they are also refining their motor skills. Also, parents should purchase toys that support hand-eye coordination, gross motor skills, and cognitive abilities.
Young Toddlers (1-2 Years)
Toddlers who are a year old want to explore more of their surroundings and environment. They started uttering a few words and imitating their adults at this age. Moreover, their interests are walking, crawling, and exploring toys.
Best Toys for Young Toddlers
- Paintings toys
- Drawing books
- Puzzle set
- Shape sorters
- Musical toys like piano
- Wooden animal set
Older Toddlers (2-3 Years)
Older toddlers love to follow their elders' instructions. Now their interest transfers to climbing and jumping. Also, they feel happy when they do physical activity.
Best Toys for Older Toddlers
- Pretend play sets
- Dress-up clothes set
- Barbie doll house
- Books having colorful pictures
- Bat and ball
- Simple story books
- Coloring books
- Phonetic learning book
- Magnetic tiles
Preschoolers (3-5 Years)
Preschoolers, ages three to five years, are very curious. They start taking an interest in house chores and water activities like washing utensils, playing with flour, and whatnot. Moreover, preschoolers' brains work in a way that they become fascinated by their surroundings and love to ask more questions.
Best Toys for Preschoolers
- Painting set. For example, paint brushes.
- Blackboard and chalk
- Pretend play set
Middle Childhood (6-8 Years)
At this stage, your child has developed most of their senses. They are now independent eaters and love to cheer themselves up.
Best Toys for Middle Childhood are;
- Digital writing tablets
- Construction toys
- Electronic toys
- Jumping ropes
- Doll house and furniture
- Science kit
- Board games
- Painting, drawing, and sketching books & other such arts & crafts materials
Pre Teens (8-12 Years)
Children eight or above like to play outdoor games. They prefer doing the physical activity more and love to be involved in activity toys. Such toys build up their social connections. At this stage, kids like toys that challenge their capabilities. Let's have a look at the type of toys tweens prefer.
Best Toys for Pre Teens
How Can You Choose a Developmentally Appropriate Toy?
Opting for something developmentally appropriate for your kids should be your first concern as a parent. Always remember the following points when buying toys for your little ones.
- Toy you choose must be a good fit for a child's physical, emotional and social well-being.
- Pick open-ended toys for older toddlers.
- Consider the quality of toys over quantity while buying.
- Ask yourself, "Is my baby using this toy in more than one way"? If yes, go for it.
- Always read the age recommendation for toys.
- Go for those toys that will make your baby active and engaging.
- Moreover, go for toys that are safe for that kid's age and long-lasting.
It is essential always to buy age-appropriate toys for your kids. Parents must understand which toy is suitable for what age group, as every age group requires different toys concerning their needs and interests.
You only buy toys occasionally. So it is good to choose the correct toys by considering age-appropriate toys for your kids. Also, not choosing relevant age toys can have negative results. That’s why it is important to give your child the best childhood memories by opting for the correct toys for themselves.