Age-by-Age Guide to Toys

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Playtime is absolutely necessary for a child and toys play a very important role in the development of a child as they aid in learning and healthy growth of the baby by encouraging exploration.

Pick the best toy for your kid that would be just right for his skill level and through this you will be giving him hours of education, exploration, and enjoyment. To help you select the right toy, we have compiled a list of age-appropriate toys:

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Infants-Birth to 6 months old

  • Things they can reach for, hold, suck on, shake, make noise with like rattles, large rings, squeeze toys, teething toys, soft dolls, textured balls, and vinyl and board books
  • Things to listen to like books with nursery rhymes and poems, and recordings of lullabies and simple songs
  • Things to look at like unbreakable mirrors

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Older infants—7 to 12 months

  • Things to play pretend with—baby dolls, puppets, plastic and wood vehicles with wheels, and water toys
  • Things to drop and take out—plastic bowls, large beads, balls, and nesting toys
  • Things to build with—large soft blocks and wooden cubes
  • Things to use their large muscles with—large balls, push and pull toys, and low, soft things to crawl over

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  • Board books with simple illustrations or photographs of real objects
  • Recordings with songs, rhymes, simple stories, and pictures
  • Things to create with—wide non-toxic, washable markers, crayons, and large paper
  • Things to pretend with—toy phones, dolls and doll beds, baby carriages and strollers, dress-up accessories (scarves, purses), puppets, stuffed toys, plastic animals, and plastic and wood “realistic” vehicles
  • Things to build with—cardboard and wood blocks

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2-year-olds (toddlers)

  • Things for solving problems—wood puzzles (with 4 to 12 pieces), blocks that snap together, objects to sort (by size, shape, color, smell), and things with hooks, buttons, buckles, and snaps
  • Things for pretending and building—blocks, smaller (and sturdy) transportation toys, construction sets, child-sized furniture (kitchen sets, chairs, play food), dress-up clothes, dolls with accessories, puppets, and sand and water play toys
  • Picture books with more details than books for younger children
  • Things for using their large and small muscles—large and small balls for kicking and throwing, ride-on equipment (but not tricycles until children turn 3), tunnels, low climbers with soft material underneath, and pounding and hammering toys

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3 to 6-year-olds (preschoolers and kindergarteners)

  • Things for solving problems—puzzles (with 12 to 20+ pieces), blocks that snap together, collections and other smaller objects to sort by length, width, height,  shape, color, smell, quantity, and other features—collections of plastic bottle caps, plastic bowls and lids, keys, shells, counting bears, small colored blocks
  • Things for pretending and building—many blocks for building complex structures, transportation toys, construction sets, child-sized furniture
  • Things to create with—large and small crayons and markers, large and small paintbrushes and finger paint, large and small paper for drawing and painting, colored construction paper, preschooler-sized scissors, chalkboard and large and small chalk, modeling clay and play dough, modeling tools, paste, paper and cloth  scraps for collage, and instruments—rhythm instruments and keyboards, xylophones, maracas, and tambourines
  • Picture books with even more words and more detailed pictures than toddler books

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Parents need to be a part of their children’s playtime at young age. Your child depends on you in more ways than one and spending time with him/her will not only make him/her a happy child now but also help in building self-esteem and confidence for life. Some parents just give their babies a lot of toys and assume baby will be able to entertain oneself. Reading or telling stories can be very enjoyable for both you and the baby. It also builds language skills.

Check toys often for hazards like loose parts, broken pieces or sharp edges, and repair or discard any weak or broken toys. Look for toys that fit your child’s interests, and then add some surprises to expand his world.

Do share your reviews.

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