As a parent or guardian; when you visit a toy shop, before you make a decision to buy your kid a toy, it’s important to know that kids often love creative toys.
Let this be a major guideline when choosing for the best toys. An ideal toy should be able to capture, holds you child’s attention as well as encourage creativity and imagination in them thus these toys should be of high quality, safe, study and fun to top it up!
In regards to early childhood development (ECD); good toys actively engages kids in various areas of development hence can be used in several ways but it depends on the interests, ability as well as imagination of your child.
Naturally, young children are curious and by providing them with high quality toys or rather materials is vital to their learning process. A toy which encourages your kids’ imagination often helps them know what’s world is like; that the world is a-diverse and wonderful place.
Buying Guide for the best-toys for kids at every-age
- Always try to keep-it simple like baby-toys car; avoid buying high-tech toys or gadgets, buy simple toys that your kid can relate with.
- Don’t fall for toys referred to as educational toys; remember that toys are made to attract kids physically and it’s impossible to replace the actual books with baby toys thus yes, kids can relate and engage with these toys to learn but focus on your child’s fun and happiness when playing with such toys, don’t over-rely or focus much on buying educational toys, everything has it’s time but fo r now, let your baby enjoy playing to build his or her social life.
- Always set limit on remote and electronic controlled baby-toys car; this will help you limit or rather manage the use of these gargets/toys by your kids.
- Choose your baby’s best toys by age; always focus on buying your baby’s toys based on his or her age; make your choice wisely since through this, you’ll be able to give your kid the freedom to grow according-to her or his age. Kids tend to enjoy toys which they can relate with, master and those that are right and fit their particular development stage.
When shopping for the best baby toys for your kid in a toy shop, apart from looking for toys that are age-appropriate as well as entertaining, you should also look for baby toys which are likely to enhance the development as well as inspire your child’s imagination and creativity.
It may be a bit challenging and a real hassle when choosing for the best toys for kids at-every age. Here are some factors to consider that will greatly help and guide you into choosing the best baby toy for your kid.
Age 0-12 months
According to the Canadian Mental Health-Associations, when children spend time with their family members-parents, grandchildren, it helps them develop healthy self-esteem as well as self-confidence. Basically, when they feel connected with other-family members in addition to knowing family history and heritage, it provides a strong-foundation which encourages children or teens to explore their world as well as motivates them to try out new things.
At this stage, sounds and textures are important elements for their sensory development. therefore, toys like such as rattles and stuffed animals provides babies sensory response-activities in that, they helps in developing your child’s hand-eye coordination .
Hand-puppets can be used to encourage interaction as well as communication in almost every young child.Generally, in the first three months, babies doesn’t do much apart from just observing their surroundings since their visions are still blurry; often, they see bright and boldly-patterned items much better hence when choosing your baby’s toys at this age. Those toys don’t have to be necessarily black and white but let those colors contrast with one another to attract his or her attention.
As kids grow, they enjoy toys which engage their other senses and that can explain why most toys are designed in such a manner to promote interaction in various ways. Such as making a squeaking or rather crinkling noise/sounds, have a nubby, soft and cuddly textures. Often, infants like to mouth their toys hence, when choosing the best toy for this age, look for ones with soft and nubby texture, it helps them relieve teething pain.
Therefore, when looking for the best toys for this age-group in a toy shop; you may consider choosing these toys;
- Soft, colorful, washable stuffed animals/dolls that have a smiling face on them
- Unbreakable mirrors
- Brightly colored, multi-patterned crib mobile
- Floor gyms
- Activity boards
- Small stuffed fabric ball
Age 1-2 years
At this stage, babies are fascinated by cause and-effect. They tend to enjoy any-toy which responds to their actions as well as makes use of newly-acquired motor skills. Like example, at this stage, your baby loves toys which allow her or him to hit a-ball using a hammer and toys that have buttons to press thus; they produce music to play or rather characters to pop-up. Although t this age, they are too young to learn letters-ABCs’ but with some hi-tech toys for this particular age tend to name a letter, number or even shape when your baby happens to press a button. The main idea is for your baby to enjoy interacting with such toys as well as get exposed to languages.
You may consider purchasing these toys for your baby thus visit you kid’s toy shop to purchase these toys;
- Push or pull toys-that makes noise or even have pieces which pop-up or move
- Simple and sturdy musical instruments such as drums, maracas or even tambourines
- Nesting cups or boxes
- Hammering-sets which lets children hammer balls or pegs through holes
- Stacking rings
- Rubber ducks or even toy boats for baby’s bath-time
- Large play vehicles like school bus, fire engine vehicles
- Puzzles with 4/5 pieces
- Shape sorters
Age 2-3 years
When your baby reaches 2-3 years, they are more playful and purposeful as well. They have fine motor-skills that are required to complete a puzzle or rather build with blocks personally. Often, at this stage, they like and enjoy pretend play that entails imitating the actions of people who are often around them.
They will prefer high-tech toys which produce or make real life sounds like telephones that rings or even dolls that talks. Based on your child gender, they are likely to play in a gender-stereotypical manner.
Some of the best toys to consider purchasing for your baby would be;
- Large transporting toys that have buttons to make a horn-honk or even a siren whistle
- Musical instruments; The most recommended once being the ones with flashing lights located on the keys to guide your child to press so as to play a tune.
- Props for make-believe play like a telephone toy, a doll stroller. a tea-party set or even a toy kitchen
- Ride-on toys & tricycles
- Dolls and stuffed animals
- Construction toys which snap together
Age 4-5 years
Kids tend to be so curious and eager to learn more. Therefore, it’s the best time to introduce your child to interactive educational toys which teaches maths as well as verbal skills like phonics boards or even mini-computers. Often, choose toys that produces or rather says positive things and words such as “Good Job” to motivate and encourage your child to do much better. In addition, at this age, your kids imagination has developed further and they can now imagine themselves being other people and they may even fantasize being police officers, pilots, teachers and much more.
Here are some of the best toys recommended for this age group. They include;
- Electronic Phonics toys
- Art-supplies and craft kits
- Action figures
- Blocks of different shapes
- Puzzles of greater complexity
- Transportation toys like train stations, parking garage and airports
- Construction sets that have large pieces
- Board games that does not require readings
- Bicycle with training-wheels
- Dress-up clothes
- Soccer-balls and basketballs
- Action figures
Age 6-7 years
Now, they are of going school age. Your kid has now developed her or his own interest through learning from their mates and teachers while at school. They value friendship more at this stage and will start asking for a certain specific toy which in most instances, most of his friends or children they know has.
At this stage, kids tend to be fond of computer games and enjoy having their friends coming over to play with them. Some of the best toys to consider buying for your kid would be;
- Board games that entails strategy such as chess and checkers
- Magnets, telescopes and magnifying glasses
- Computer and video-games
- Remote control cars
- Craft kits
- Basic-science kits
- Construction sets
- Sports equipments
- Game boys
Age 8 years and above
When you have a child of this age group, they now prefer and enjoy outdoor sports than being inside the house close to you. They tend to acquire adult-like hobbies, interest as well as abilities. Some of the toys you can but for them includes;
- Board games such as trivial pursuit junior, scrabbles, monopoly and much more
- Computer and video games
- Craft kits
- Outdoor sporting equipments
- Model kits
- More-elaborate science kits
- Intricate construction sets