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Saturday, June 13, 2009

How to choose age appropriate toys for children?

Last year a parent asked me to suggest the toys for her 5 year old daughter with some learning disability symptoms. I personally prefer to provide blocks, and other educational toys for that specif age because my son enjoyed playing with blocks for hours and it definitely helped him in skill development. This article would help you choose age appropriate toys for your children and this guide is also useful to select and buy gifts for children.

Selecting toys for young children is an important task that involves decisions about the kinds of interests, motivation, and skills we want children to develop. Any toy given to a child should match his or her developmental age and individual needs.

When choosing a toy, careful attention should be paid to safety and durability--materials should have lasting play value and help provide a foundation for future development.

Following are some ideas for inexpensive, and most important, fun play materials for the early years:

Birth through six months

Toys for young infants should promote their interest in looking, listening, sucking, and grasping. Well-secured, unbreakable crib mirrors, rag dolls, stuffed toys and simple hand puppets moved by an adult are all age appropriate gifts that can either be made or purchased for a minimal amount of money.

6 to 12 months

Infants from 6-12 months are able to enjoy a wider variety of toys which support their social, cognitive, and physical development. Floating objects for bath play, construction materials, simple puzzles, cloth and board books, and balls are durable options for young children at this stage.
1 to 2 years

Toddlers are increasingly mobile and independent. Dressing, lacing, and stringing materials, picture and nursery rhyme books, nontoxic crayons for scribbling, and stacking materials will be enjoyed by one-year-olds, while role-playing toys, pegboards, and large balls to kick, throw, and catch are good choices for older toddlers.

3 to 5 years

Three- to five-year-olds often find enjoyment from materials that promote pretend play and foster their language and social skills. A large variety of books suitable for this age are available, as well as an assortment of blocks, dress-up clothes and simple games, including dominoes, bingo boards, and card games.

6 through 8 years

Primary-school age children show interest in and benefit from a number of specific skill-development toys. They can spend hours with art and crafts materials, particularly washable paints, clay, collage equipment, and small beads for jewelry making. Books and more complex games with rules and turn-taking are also appropriate, and natural objects (stones and shells) can pique an interest in science and the environment.

Keep in mind that the holiday season can also be stressful for children. It isn't necessary to give a child a room full of toys in order for him to have fun. Sometimes the simplest pleasures are the most enjoyable.

Link: Simple Gift Giving For The Early Years
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