How to find age appropriate toys for your little one

Kids develop in different stages, so it’s good to have toys that will enhance their experiences, depending on what stages they are on. So in addition to finding safe toys for your child, it’s recommended to find toys that match their level of development and budding skills.

 

Most of the time you’ll find that a lot of safe and suitable play material can be found right at home and can be used in more than one way for children of different ages – you just have to get creative! Below you’ll find a list of appropriate toys for different ages, based on recommendations by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

 

0 – 6 months:

 

Young babies like to look at faces and bright colors, and follow them with their eyes. They can reach for objects and explore them with their hands, feet, and mouth. When they hear a peculiar sound, babies will turn and look towards it. Good toys for this age include:

  • Rattles
  • Large rings
  • Teething toys
  • Squeeze toys
  • Board books with nursery rhymes
  • Unbreakable mirrors

 

7 – 12 months:

 

These months are normally more active ones – babies are on the go, and therefore interact with their environment in new and exciting ways. They go from rolling over and sitting, to scooting, crawling, pulling themselves up and standing. Good toys for older infants include:

  • Things to play pretend with like dolls, puppets, and toy cars
  • Large blocks and cubes to build with
  • Large balls
  • Push and pull toys
  • Things to drop and take out like a shape sorting cube

 

1 year olds:

 

One year olds are in constant contact with their environment, exploring their surroundings because they are on the go! Their language is continuously expanding and they enjoy story books. Toys that are appropriate for a one-year-old include:

  • Board books with illustrations
  • Songs, rhymes, and simple stories
  • Crayons, washable markers, and paint to create with
  • Toy phones, dolls, and costumes to play pretend with
  • Plastic and wood blocks to build with
  • Large puzzles

 

2 year olds:

 

Toddlers are quickly developing their fine motor skills – which allow them to use their hands and fingers with control and play with small objects. They also do a lot of physical “experiments” in their environment: jumping down, climbing, and rolling around. Toys that are appropriate for a two-year-old include:

  • Wood puzzles (4-12 pieces)
  • Blocks
  • Objects to sort by size, color, or shape
  • Dress-up clothes, dolls, puppets to play pretend with
  • Finger paint, crayons, markers, etc. to create with
  • Picture books
  • Large and small balls for kicking and throwing
  • Tunnels to crawl through

 

Remember to always put safety first. Safe toys for young children are shatter-proof, painted with non-toxic lead-free paint, and easily cleaned. Make sure that there are no small parts that could break off and become lodged in a child’s throat. Parents must frequently check toys and make sure they are still safe because wear and tear can make a once safe toy hazardous.

 

 

2 thoughts on “How to find age appropriate toys for your little one

  • By sarah - Reply

    I really like that none of your suggestions are electronic toys. This is such a good list for pretend play development.

    • By Kinedu - Reply

      Thanks, Sarah! Children should have lots of opportunities to initiate and direct their own play. The right tools (toys) foster creativity and enhance their development.

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