Doesn’t it seem uncanny how children can be rarely tired of certain toys for years whilst other get cast aside with barely a second look? Toys are not only a great help in keeping babies and young children entertained but they can also be an excellent way to foster creativity and development.
To help you know what to look for to get the most out of toys and try and ensure that the toys you buy for your children make their way into the ‘super longevity’ pile rather than the dustbin, check out the following age appropriate toy guide.
0 – 12 months
Babies who are less than a year old will enjoy and benefit the most from brightly coloured toys that have bold patterns on them and are easy to grab. To help develop your baby’s senses providing her with toys that encourage interaction such as touch are recommendable, as well as toys that make noises such as crinkling or squeaking to promote an understanding of sounds and noise.
Babies this young have a tendency to put everything they see in their mouths and can benefit from textured toys that will help relieve symptoms of teething.
It stands to reason that toys for babies under 12 months should not contain any small parts to avoid the choking hazard.
Stick to interactive, noisy (to a degree), bright and bold toys, such as rattles, floor gyms and unbreakable mirrors, to stimulate those rapidly advancing senses.
12 – 24 months
During your baby’s second year of existence she will be learning to communicate in the world around her at a rate of knots! Toys that encourage talking and walking are advisable at this age, as well as toys that promote play and creative thinking.
Wooden trains for example that your baby can push and pull will promote a sense of imaginary play. Wooden building blocks will help develop hand/eye coordination and a sense of puzzle solving.
Baby walkers will help keep your youngster steady of her feet and may encourage earlier walking, while toys that sing nursery rhymes may help advance your baby’s understanding of language and speech.
During this time your baby will love to splash around in the bath and bath toys can be a lot of fun!
Between 12 – 24 months many babies develop an interest in books, which can be invaluable in encouraging language skills and an early interest in reading.
2 – 3 years
Toddlers are into everything and have bundles of energy, keen to explore everything around them! Toys that help them to use up some of this excess energy, such as bricks to build up and knock down, toys they can lug around with them and things they can empty and fill, will bring toddlers hours of fun.
At this stage children are often at the peak of their curiosity and therefore buying toys that will stimulate this curiosity and imagination, such as jigsaws and arts and crafts, will go a long way in promoting mental development.