When choosing age-appropriate baby toys or kids toys for young children, keepÂ things simple.Â Toys that do too much don’t allow for growing mindsÂ to use their own imagination. Distracting featuresÂ like talking, singing, or items that give direction don’t contribute to the development of our kids. In reality, toys thatÂ take charge of the play situation merely distract when the focus should be on allowing children the opportunity toÂ direct the action throughÂ imagination. Â Toys that are simple, like ourÂ Big Waffle Blocks, are often the best for growing childrenÂ because they allow for creativity and spontaneity. With so many ways to play, blocks are one of the best toys you can buy. Plus, our waffle blocks can be usedÂ around the house, dorm, garage, etc…
Not sure when to introduce the different styles of play to your kids? Below are someÂ general rule of thumb guidelines to help your toy buying and gifting:
0-6 months: Infants are fascinated with movement, sounds, and simple black and white visuals. They are discovering their own bodies, working on eye-hand coordination, reaching, and grasping. Age-appropriate toys for babies include: mobiles, rattles, busy boxes, and anything they can begin to grasp, swipe at, pull, kick, squeeze, or shake.
6-8 months: Older babies can hold small toys. They are learning about cause and effect and they will repeat activities over and over in order to master them. They also like to transfer toys from hand to hand and into and out of containers. Many of the same toys for infants will be used in new ways by older babies.
8-18 months: This is the age when babies begin to foresee results, decide on a goal, and deliberately take some action to make it happen. They also begin to experiment with size, shape, and space. Age-appropriate toys include push/pull toys, blocks, nesting cups, rings on poles, shape sorters, and simple take-apart toys.
18-24 months: Toddlers begin to enjoy playing “pretend.” This is the time to introduce dress-up clothing, dolls, kitchen sets, and toy cars, trucks, and school buses.
2-4 years: Kids learn a lot about socialization during the preschool years and continue to do a lot of pretend play. Miniature farm and house sets allow them to exercise their imagination, while large crayons, finger paints, and Play-Doh help develop creativity. Children also make huge gains in both fine and gross motor skills throughout this period, so puzzles, large Legos, blocks, and other construction toys are perfect age-appropriate toys. Noise is always an enticement, so young children love drums and hammer-and-peg toys at this age range.
-The Little Tikes Co.