1. Find the perfect gift
As the holidays roll around, buying gifts for loved ones comes to everyone’s minds. But how can you know what gift a baby wants? Or which toys would be most beneficial for a toddler? Here are some helpful hints!
2. Infants to 6-months-old
It may seem most difficult to find a toy for an infant, but at this age, babies are pretty easy to please. They love bright colors and looking at the people around them, as well as discovering their own hands and feet. Their physical abilities limit the items that are suitable for them—they can lift their heads, react to sounds, and try to taste just about every object. So, colorful toys that involve sounds (from rattles to songs) are ideal. Even at this age, parents can begin reading to their children; so, rhyming books are also a good idea.
3. Ages 7 months to 1 year
Around these ages, babies are becoming mobile! They are learning to roll, sit, crawl, stand, and so much more. At the older end of this age range, some may even be close to walking. With this newfound freedom, they will enjoy any toy that moves or that they can follow! Most toys that involve pushing and pulling will be a blast. They have also begun to enjoy finding objects, manipulating toys, and exploring containers, so shape sorters, interlocking rings, balls, building blocks, and other manageable toys will be enjoyable.
4. Ages 1 to 2 years
Young toddlers have just begun learning to walk, so they want to explore the great, big world they now have access to. Their inquisitive minds will love any toys that give them something to manipulate physically or challenge them cognitively. Books are always a great idea, especially at this age. Toys that give them songs to learn or that allow them to exercise their imaginations will keep them happy. They will love pretending to use toy phones, cars, and more.
5. Ages 2 to 3 years
Now that toddlers have gained more confidence and strength, they love to test their limits. Their abundant energy means that they also like to stay on the move. Toys that allow them to express their creative sides and learn new things (like sorters, building blocks, and art supplies) will keep them entertained. Things they can kick and throw, or equipment they can push themselves around on are also ideal.
6. Ages 3 to 6 years
Have you ever met a preschooler or kindergartener who constantly asked you “Why?” no matter how many times you explained something? Children at these ages are insatiably curious about the world. They like playing with each other and toys that keep them engaged. Puzzles, art supplies, books, balance bikes, interactive computer programs, scooters, and other fun toys will delight them!
Toy Industry Foundation. Age-by-age Toy Guide.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. Good Toys for Young Children by Age and Stage.
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