Toys Tailored For The Tots On Your List
Children’s skills develop rapidly between infancy and four years of age. We have toy suggestions tailored to the age and developmental skill level of each child on your holiday gift list.
The holidays are a wonderful time to celebrate the world through a child’s eyes. Childhood years seem to go by too quickly, and we want to make the most of them. As you are choosing gifts for tiny tots, remember that children will get the most pleasure—and benefit—from toys that are suited to their developmental skills.
When the toys you choose support healthy age-appropriate physical development, they also give a child a satisfying play experience. It can be tough to know which toys are best for the children on your list. We’ve got a list that suggests appropriate toys for each developmental stage and age. If you follow these guidelines, your children will play happily through the holidays with toys that help them develop and learn.
- 0 to 6 months. Babies live in a world of discovery. They are learning about their bodies, practicing hand-eye coordination, and mastering reaching and grasping. Infants are fascinated with movement, sounds, and simple black and white visuals. Toys to help babies develop include mobiles, rattles, and anything they can grasp, pull, kick, squeeze, or shake.
- 6 to 8 months. These infants have mastered the basics, and can now hold small toys. They are exploring cause and effect and learn through repetition. Choose toys that allow them to repeat activities over and over. Other great options are toys that babies can transfer from hand to hand, and toys they can put into and take out of containers.
- 8 to 18 months. Now tots begin to anticipate results, choose a goal, and take action to make it happen. At this age, children are also becoming aware of size, shape, and space. They’ll be captivated by push/pull toys, blocks, nesting cups, rings on poles, shape sorters, and simple toys that can be taken apart and reassembled.
- 18 to 24 months. Toddlers are discovering the joys of playing “pretend.” Choose toys to encourage imagination and creativity, like dress-up clothing, dolls, kitchen sets, toy cars, trucks, and school buses.
- 2 to 4 years. At this age, children are using their pretend play skills to learn about socialization. They make huge leaps in fine and gross motor skills, and are fascinated by noise. Consider miniature farm and house sets for imaginative play, and large crayons, finger paints, and Play-Doh to encourage creativity. Support motor skill development with puzzles, large Legos, blocks, and other construction toys. If you feel brave, go ahead and wrap up a drum set. They’ll love it.
Following these guidelines can help you make the most of the gift-giving season. Choosing toys that children can master will give them a sense of accomplishment as well as the sheer joy of playtime.
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