Know your toys
Christmas time for kids means toys, toys and more toys. But are you buying the right toys for your child?
Knowing where your child is development-wise can assist you in selecting the toys that will stimulate the skills she is currently trying to master. Children need to repeat activities over and over again to achieve mastery.

If boredom sets in, then change the game, break the rules, combine different games or simply pack the toy away for a few weeks. Your child develops at such a rate that you will be amazed at how differently he will play with a toy he has not seen for a while. He is in a new brain and body space and will have a quite different interaction with the same toy.

Children need a variety of toys to play with – from the winking, blinking, noisy variety (that require lots of batteries), to the more traditional such as wooden building blocks and dolls, to educational toys that are specifically designed to stimulate your child’s perceptual skills for school readiness.

Make sure you choose toys, which stimulate your child’s senses because that is how he learns about his world. Remember that you are the magic ingredient in your child’s playtime – a parent is the best “toy” in the world.

Toy Guide
This is a guideline on when toys can be introduced and how they will help development. Some toys will span a few developmental stages or will be adapted for each age and stage group, while others will have a limited enjoyment period.

Age: 3 weeks – 3 months

  • Mobiles
  • Musical toys or chimes
  • Rattles
  • Squeaky toys
  • Textured toys soft toys and teddies
  • Tune-playing soft toys
  • Inflatable balls and rollers
  • Play mats
  • Classical music such as baroque or anything with a calm, regular beat such as Enya, classic rock, or nature sounds.
  • Nursery rhymes.

    Age: 3 – 6 months

  • Activity center
  • Baby gym
  • Hand and foot rattles
  • Play mat
  • Balls of different sizes and textures
  • Bath toys
  • Small rattle balls
  • Teething rings
  • Squeaky toys
  • Baby-safe mirror

    Age: 6 – 12 months

  • Rattle balls
  • Textured and sound toys
  • Pull-along toys
  • Push-along toys, eg. Activity walker
  • Push-button toys
  • Ball or activity center
  • Electronic play center
  • Stacking rings or cups
  • Bath toys
  • Wooden pegs and a hammer
  • Wagon with blocks
  • Shape sorter
  • Beads on a string
  • Board or cloth books tapes and CDs
  • Puppets swing

    Age:12 – 18 months

  • Telephone
  • Board books
  • Sandpit and accessories
  • Jungle gym
  • Paddle pool
  • Tunnel
  • Tent
  • Building blocks and simple construction toys
  • Snap or click-together toys
  • Threading toys giant pegboard
  • Toy cars, boats, trucks
  • Inflatable beach balls
  • Ball pond beanbags soft balls
  • Thick pastels
  • Crayons
  • Paper
  • Sit-on car or truck
  • Scooter

    Age: 12 – 24 months

  • Chunky crayons
  • Finger paint
  • Blackboard and chalk
  • Simple construction toys
  • Building blocks
  • Books
  • Shape sorters
  • Knob puzzles
  • Balls of al sizes
  • Plastic golf, hockey or cricket sets
  • Plastic fishing sets
  • Jungle gym, swing, slide
  • Rocking horse
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Dolls and prams
  • Shopping trolley
  • Tape recorder, CD player, music
  • Cooking and baking sets
  • Shopping sets
  • Cleaning sets
  • Read Parent24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    Comments have been closed for this article.


    Want to know what your baby looks like and what you can expect at this stage?




    Balance routine and creativity

    Little people need routine, but creative play is also essential. Try these activities with them to balance the two.

    See more >


    Everything from parties to pre-schools in your area.