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.
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 monthsMobilesMusical toys or chimesRattles Squeaky toysTextured toys soft toys and teddiesTune-playing soft toysInflatable balls and rollersPlay matsClassical music such as baroque or anything with a calm, regular beat such as Enya, classic rock, or nature sounds.Nursery rhymes.
Age: 3 – 6 monthsActivity centerBaby gymHand and foot rattles Play mat
Balls of different sizes and texturesBath toysSmall rattle ballsTeething ringsSqueaky toysBaby-safe mirror
Age: 6 – 12 monthsRattle ballsTextured and sound toysPull-along toys Push-along toys, eg. Activity walkerPush-button toysBall or activity centerElectronic play centerStacking rings or cupsBath toysWooden pegs and a hammerWagon with blocks Shape sorterBeads on a stringBoard or cloth books tapes and CDsPuppets swing
Age:12 – 18 monthsTelephoneBoard booksSandpit and accessoriesJungle gym Paddle poolTunnel TentBuilding blocks and simple construction toysSnap or click-together toysThreading toys giant pegboardToy cars, boats, trucksInflatable beach ballsBall pond beanbags soft ballsThick pastels CrayonsPaperSit-on car or truck Scooter
Age: 12 – 24 months Chunky crayonsFinger paintBlackboard and chalkSimple construction toysBuilding blocksBooks Shape sorters Knob puzzlesBalls of al sizesPlastic golf, hockey or cricket setsPlastic fishing setsJungle gym, swing, slideRocking horse WheelbarrowDolls and pramsShopping trolleyTape recorder, CD player, musicCooking and baking setsShopping setsCleaning sets