For a healthy growth of body and mind, a child needs toys too along with proper food and water. If you rely upon toys that your child gets as birthday gifts, you should change your approach considering that toys let the children learn something. However, with an overwhelming range of toys available today in the market, choosing some for your child may be daunting. Here are some tips that may help you.
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1. Know the Interests of Children of Different Ages
Infants and toddlers constantly learn about the surrounding world with their senses. Therefore they love toys that can be touched, poked, squeezed, seen and heard. Bright colours and fun noises attract them. Also toddlers find toys fun that they can open, push, pull, pour and stack.
Preschool children tend to have unlimited energy which they want to use in learning new skills. Therefore they enjoy activities like drawing, painting and creating new things. They also enjoy playing dress-up, pretending to be someone else with their toys and make up stories.
Older children tend to love more realistic toys that they feel real-world, e.g. fashion or jewelry, TV or film-related products or music. Sports and sports equipment may also be very important at this age.
You can get toys for all ages at Little Smiles.
2. Consider Your Child’s Age and What Toys will Suit Her/Him
- If your baby is below 1 year of age, choose brightly coloured toys, unbreakable toys, toys that make a fun noise, dolls, stacking ring cones etc. Ensure that the toys are washable and don’t have parts that the child can remove and gulp.
- If your child is between 1 and 2 years of age, choose building blocks made of non-toxic material, bathtub toys like fish and ducks, plush toys, pounding and stacking toys, non-glass mirrors, etc. Avoid toys with sharp edges and balloons.
- For children of 2 to 3 years of age, choose creative toys like sandbox, play dough, large crayons, brightly coloured books, musical toys, toy cars, ride-on toys, rocking horses, etc.
- For the age of 3 to 4 years, choose dolls and its ensemble like clothes and closet, non-electrical tractors, truck or trains, tricycles, building or interlocking blocks, balls and creative toys.
- For 4 to 5 year old children, choose modeling clay, building blocks, simple construction sets, finger paints, battery-operated toys, stencils, puppets, board games, jigsaw puzzles, bicycles with training wheels, and outdoor playsets.
- For children between 8 and 12 years of age, choose arts and crafts materials, construction sets, bicycles, electric trains, musical instruments, sports equipment etc.
Some toys are accepted well by all age groups, such as toy vehicles, musical toys, balls, building blocks, and outdoor playsets that can engage kids with activities like swinging, climbing, sliding etc, like the best outdoor playsets at Little Smiles, for example.
3. Ensure Safety
Avoid toys that can cause any health hazard.
- Ensure that the edges of toys are smooth and there is no sharp point in the toy that can injure your child.
- Ensure that the materials of the toys are non-toxic.
- Also ensure that the toys are washable or can be cleaned and made germ-free.
- The toys should not have any part that can be removed and swallowed.
- In case of battery-operated toys, the battery pack should not be within an easy reach of the child.
- While using ride-on toys, ensure that the child wears protective gear, like helmets, and elbow and knee pads.
- Avoid air rifles, fireworks, darts, arrows and chemistry sets.
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4. Make the Child Realise that the Toys and Her/His World are Interesting
If you just throw toys before your child and get busy in your work, the child may lose interest in the toys as you are not giving any importance to them. Sit with the child and play with her/him and the toys, and reveal that the toys and the child’s world are extremely interesting and you love both!