Parenting Tips

How To Select The Right Toys For Your Child?

We all know kids love toys! But do we know how toys foster growth and learning in the early development years?

Play is important for a child in myriad of ways. It helps children grow strong and healthy and develop their cognitive, language and social skills. Play will make children happy and improves their emotional well being. Also it builds confidence and enhances your child’s imagination and creativity.

Every time your child plays (with or without toys), he/she learns something new. Most toys help children learn something in some way. For example, when your child plays with blocks, he/she will learn how to grasp an object with his/her tiny hands and keep it in the correct place. Now you see that toys are more than just colourful pieces that will keep your children occupied for some time!

As a parent you can support your child’s development a lot with the right choice of toys. Here are few things to keep in your mind when you buy toys for your child.

 

Age-appropriate

A toy that entertains a toddler may not be enjoyable to an infant as their developmental stages of play are quite different. Therefore, the toy you buy for your child should be appropriate for your child’s age.

 

Safety

Safety is the number one rule when it comes to your child’s toys. They should be made of appropriate child-safe materials. Don’t give smaller toys for younger kids as choking is a particular risk for kids aged three or younger because they tend to put objects in their mouths. Toy-related injuries are totally preventable and it is the responsibility of parents to make sure that their children play only with safe toys under adult supervision.

 

Simplicity And Creativity

Always go for simple toys as it will help unleash the creative side of your child! Unlike the complex toys (electronic and battery-operated), simple toys such as (dolls and accessories, rattles, wood puzzles, kitchen sets, sand and water play toys etc) require the child to do all the work and they allow the children to take their play in any direction. These open-ended toys help improve a child’s creativity and imagination.

 

Interactive But Not Over Stimulating

Interactive toys are great learning tools for any age group. Children will be quite amused when toys respond to them. However, toys should not be over stimulating. Toys should give your child’s brain a chance to work and not be worked on!

 

Exploration And Problem Solving

Children are curious and eager to explore whatever that comes into their hands. There are plenty of toys out there that allow children to learn and explore through play. Parents can use toys to enhance children’s problem solving skills as well. Puzzle and blocks are good examples for intellectual toys.

Below are few examples of toys suitable for different age groups to make your toy-hunting a lot easier!

Age

Suitable Toys

0-6 months

Brightly coloured/multi-patterned toys,

Hand-held toys, toys with music, sensory toys, squirky rubber toys, unbreakable mirrors, rattles, crib mobiles, activity bars, board books, soft-stuffed animals and dolls

6-12 months

Soft dolls and stuffed animals, Touch and Feel books, push toys, shape sorters, toy telephone, blocks, sand and water play toys

1-2 years

Push and pull toys, climbing gym, picture books, ride on vehicles, toys to play house, blocks, puzzles, train sets

2-3 years

Ride-on toys, art supplies, dress-up clothes, percussive instruments, toy household equipment, giant building blocks/play sets, puzzles

3-5 Years

Fancy-dress costumes, doodle pads, stack and sort boards, dolls, bat and ball, badminton rackets