As soon as you walk into the house you stumble over a plastic motorbike or step on a pain-inducing piece of Lego. It can sometimes feel like your whole house has turned into a scene from Toy Story. But is your child playing with toys appropriate for his or her age group or developmental stage? And are these toys encouraging learning and growth?
Here’s a list of appropriate toys according to your child’s age:
0 to 12 months
Let’s be honest, babies don’t really need toys. As soon as you start tummy time you can hold rattles or black and white images in front of your babies face to keep them entertained.
As they go beyond three months, anything that makes a sound or allows them to chew is a winner – think rattles and teething rings. However, babies closer to 12 months might enjoy toys a little more and a simple touchy-feely book will do the trick.
12 – 24 months
This is when the fun starts! Little ones start to enjoy mimicking real-life with dolls/figurines, big building blocks and toy grocery trolleys keeping them entertained. Books and puzzles also seem to keep them busy for longer at this stage. Try and include some educational toys in their daily routine.
3 to 4 years
By now your little one definitely knows what they like and don’t like. You might find they stick to playing with certain animals or become obsessive about a certain topic – like dinosaurs. Bicycles and playing outside for both boys and girls have an added dimension of fun and things that can be used outside are always big hits.
Try and limit time with toys that have a technology element like iPads and TV, but also know that these toys do have importance and offer an alternative dimension of development for your kids. The world is increasingly becoming more dependent on technology and having tech-savvy kids could have its benefits!