When choosing a toy for your child, it’s not only about the toy’s ability to engage, entertain and educate your child, but it’s also a matter of safety. If you’ve recently been to toy stores, you know how overwhelmingly difficult is to choose the right toy, especially with such a variety we have today. Not only do you want for the toy to be completely safe and age-appropriate, but you want it to help your child develop to their full potential. So, in order to help you, here are some tips for buying the right toys for kids depending on their age.
Kids Under Six Months
Even the youngest babies can respond to colors and shapes, which helps them develop their vision faster and better. That is why you should probably consider things that have some bright colors, but also the toys that emit sounds. For that purpose, there are various mobiles with bright colors and soothing music that can stimulate your baby’s vision and hearing. Also, you can consider activity centers which will encourage motor control development.
Additionally, you can find mirrors which are designed for the youngest and in that way safe for them to play with in order to explore their faces. Not to forget the good old rattlers and teethers that introduce textures in your baby’s world, and even books – since reading to them will help them with beginning the language development.
Six to Twelve Months
During this age, it’s important to focus on interactive play. This includes the concept of cause and effect, as well as working on hand-eye coordination. You can play simple games such as “peek-a-boo”, but when it comes to toys, you should look for something that will stimulate their development and learning.
Look for toys that can encourage different types of play for children’s development, including toys that make sounds and teach about music. Also, there are fun baby gyms and activity courses that will stimulate crawling, bouncers for physical activity, telephones for developing social skills and teaching about communication and so on. However, don’t forget about soft dolls and stuffed animals that your child can love and cuddle.
Twelve to Eighteen Months
Around this age, your little one may begin to walk and try to take those first steps. Thus, you should look for toys that focus on supporting your kid’s curiosity and exploration and to encourage proper and further fine motor coordination.
Look for swing sets you can set up at home to encourage physical activity. Also, building blocks are essential here for hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills. Additionally, you can keep up reading storybooks or picture books to encourage language and vocabulary development, and don’t forget to always play some music or videos so your baby can enjoy.
Eighteen to Twenty-Four Months
As soon as your child reaches one and a half years of age, you should begin to encourage their imagination in play. This is usually done in the form of make-believe, but this will actually help them work on their problem-solving strategies. So, you should look for appropriate toys at Funtastic Toy to support this development by expanding their exposure to colors and shapes and following instructions and language.
You can get your child cute little costumes and dress-ups to stimulate their imagination. Also, focus on push and pull toys that will encourage them to walk, and puzzles with a smaller number of pieces will encourage their problem-solving skills. Additionally, you can invest in playhouses and other scaled-down objects that will give them insight into the world around them and the opportunity to mimic it. And for some physical activity, you can rely on good old swing sets.
Twenty-Four to Thirty-Six Months
Around age two, your child will begin to shift their focus on developing the fine motor skills and coordination, even though they don’t realize it. So, by this age, you can start getting them board games that are age-appropriate and safe, as well as doing craft-type projects and toys. Also, by this age, your little one will be ready to play with other kids, so you can look for games and toys that are meant for several children to use.
Focus on simpler board games and puzzles in order to further develop their hand-eye coordination as well as memory. Also, invest in some outdoor equipment including riding vehicles, tricycles and swing sets to build their physical skills and let them play outside. If they love music, you can even get them beginner musical instruments, such as guitars, drums and flutes for kids.
Also, don’t forget about playhouses, dolls and train sets to help them engage in pretend-play with their friends and siblings. At this age, you can also start focusing more on arts and crafts and get them kid-friendly painting sets and plenty of paper. This will also be a great activity for them and their friends, as well as reading books and building vocabulary.
As you probably already know, not every toy is suitable for every child – especially when it comes to their age and safety. So, next time you’re browsing toy stores, make sure to keep these tips in mind and to carefully read the recommended age by the manufacturer.