Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

What are the age appropriate toys for your little one?

little boy and mom playing with age-appropriate toys

Key Points:

  1. Match toys to your child’s development stage for a more enriching play experience.
  2. Often, safe and suitable play materials can be found at home and adapted for various ages.
  3. Age-appropriate toys for infants include rattles, teething toys, and cardboard books.
  4. Toddlers benefit from toys like wooden puzzles, blocks, and dress-up clothes.

Kids develop in different stages, so it’s good to have age-appropriate toys that will enhance their experiences in each of those periods. So, in addition to finding safe toys for your child, it’s recommended to find ones that match their level of development and building skills.

Most of the time you’ll find that a lot of safe and suitable play materials 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 the recommendations by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Age-appropriate toys for babies and children 

 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
  •  Cardboard 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 up. 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 old

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 storybooks. Age-appropriate toys for them include:

  •  Cardboard books with illustrations
  •  Songs, rhymes, and simple stories
  •  Crayons, washable markers, and paint
  •  Toy phones, dolls, and costumes to play pretend with
  •  Plastic and wood blocks to build with
  • Puzzles with large pieces

2 years old

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 two-year-olds include:

  • Wood puzzles (4-12 pieces)
  • Blocks
  • Objects to sort by size, color, or shape
  • Dress-up clothes, dolls, and puppets to play pretend with
  • Finger paint, crayons, markers, etc.
  • 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 check toys frequently to make sure they are still safe because wear and tear can make a once-safe toy hazardous.


Related Articles

spring activities for preschoolers
Kinedu Educators

4 Spring Activities for Preschoolers

Spring activities for preschoolers can play a significant role in the overall development of children. Through playful exploration of nature,…

newborn care immediately after birth
Health Guide

Essential Newborn Care

The birth of a baby is a moment of great emotion and joy for parents and, at the same time,…

signs of colic in babies
Health Guide

Signs of Colic in Babies

Colic is a common disorder in babies, characterized by intense, prolonged crying for no apparent reason. This can be very…

6 Responses

  1. Thanks for your suggestions these are useful ones exactly
    But what about 3 years child suggestions because I’m confused what can I gift him.

    1. ¡Hello Nourthan! If you click on the word “recommendations” on the text, it will take you NAEYC web page, where they give recommendations for children between 3-6 years old =)

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

    1. 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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.