If you have a niece, nephew, your cousin’s child or your best friend’s child whose birthday is coming up, or the holidays are around the corner- you want to get them a great gift. Not just a gift that they will love, but something that will help them learn and grow. There are many amazing children’s educational toys around. However, you may be wondering what kind of toy is appropriate for the child?
The first thing to consider is the child’s age, and the other thing to consider is the child’s development. Let’s first focus on the baby’s age by breaking down age groups.
Babies Under 12 Months Of Age
Infants under 3 months of age will not do much other than observe. At that point, the vision is still blurry, therefore the best toys are brightly colored items with bold patterns. As the baby grows and evolves, the other senses become heightened and that is when the infant begins to enjoy engaging with toys that will be stimulating.
The best baby toys for development are those that make a crinkling noise or squeaking noise and have a soft, nubby and cuddly texture. That is why rattles, floor gyms, stimulating mobiles, stuffed fabric balls and animals and unbreakable mirrors are the perfect toys to help promote the baby’s development. As they evolve into toddlerhood, which is after they turn a year old, they will need new toys that will help promote their development.
Toddlers From 1 Year To 3 Years Of Age
At this point, the child is quite interested in cause and effect and will love a learning toy that responds to actions and makes use of the child’s newly acquired motor skills. For instance, children at this age absolutely love toys that let them hit a ball with a hammer. They also love toys with keys that characters to pop up or music to play. Examples of these age-appropriate toys are stacking rings, hammering sets, shape sorters, sturdy musical instruments, and 4 to 5 piece puzzles. These toys will also help strengthen their gross and fine motor skills. After they turn 3 years of age, they are in the preschool range and will need a new set of educational toys.
Preschoolers From 3 Years To 5 Years Of Age
At this point, the child’s play is now more purposeful and has more advanced growth and fine motor skills. This is the time when they are ready to learn their numbers and alphabet, and this is also the time when they need to express their creativity, and to help stimulate their imaginations. Kids in this age range will enjoy having imaginary tea parties with their stuffed animals, dolls, and actions figures, or toy telephones that ring, or toy trucks and cars that they can ride.
In fact, it is critical that kids in this age range are able to play with these kinds of toys that will help stimulate and enhance their imagination and creativity. The more creative kids are, the more they will be able to absorb in school. Puzzles that are more complex are excellent for stimulating their minds as well.
School Aged Kids From 5 Years Old To 8 Years Old
At this point, children in this age group are developing their own interests. They are like sponges in regards to learning, and they learn a lot from their peers and teachers. They are incredibly curious and the best types of toys that will help stimulate their interests and learning would be toys that allow them to do science experiments such as basic science kits, craft kits, video games, and board games that involve strategy.
Kids in this age group would also benefit quite a bit from playing sports as it would help strengthen their fine and gross motor skills. Therefore, sports kits would be ideal for boys and for girls in this age range. As kids get older, their interests and their abilities keep advancing and would need educational toys to challenge them even more.
School Aged Kids From 8 Years Old And Above
Kids that are 8 years old and older are already heading towards teenhood. Therefore, their abilities and interests are developing further. And, many kids in this age group are developing adult-like interests, abilities, and hobbies such as card collecting being an example.
Girls in this age group are usually still into crafts and are beginning to write in diaries. Boys are still into sports and enjoy computer and video games. Therefore, the best toys to get for older kids would be age-appropriate video games and craft kits, outdoor sporting equipment, elaborate science kits, model kits, and board games like Monopoly and Scrabble.
At this point as well, it is always best to ask the parents of children in this age group what their interests are. You don’t want to buy a boy a sporting equipment when he prefers science kits. And, you don’t want to buy a girl who loves sports but is not into crafts.
The other thing to consider is that if the child has a developmental disability like autism or Down’s Syndrome, you would also have to ask the parents of a child with special needs about the kind of toys that would be best to help their development. For instance, an 8-year-old with moderate to severe autism would not know what to do with a video game that is geared towards his peers. Therefore, a toy that is suited for a 3-year-old would be a better option.
That said, in most cases, except for when it comes to children that have special needs, this guide is meant to help make gift-giving easy when it comes to buying the best toys for kids.
You can find the best educational toys by age group collections at kid-krazy.com