The toy is the most important learning too during the first years of life for a child. When the child plays, he learns about himself, about the properties of objects and people around him, while developing physical, cognitive, and affective social skills. The toy is the motivating action activity that encourages the child to explore and discover.Therefore, what matters is not only the object, but the activities that the toy will let you do to encourage their development.
How many times have we seen kids more excited about the box and gift wrap that with the toy that is inside?
This means frustration for the adult as he has spent on the toy, but it shows us that you do not need too much money to satisfy the curiosity of children and provide fun and learning opportunities we are looking for. All toys have a important influence on the game, but not all promote quality game. Oftentimes, Unstructured toys such as mass, blocks, drawings, paintings are kids favorite as they can control and shape them according to their abilities.These toys invite them to solve problems and be creative.
On the contrary, the very structured ones like action figures and others who appear on television (which are usually trendy) limit their learning. Many of these toys lead children to imitate, risking their imagination, creativity and ability to find interesting problems that motivate them to explore and resolve.No wonder kids get bored soon of such toys.
How to choose the best toys four your kids? The ideal toy is one that will make the child solve problems and building the ability to find a solution, be creative and build self confidence, while having fun. To this end, we must understand what are the interests and abilities of the child at each stage of development.
We must also remember that during the first years of life, there are no typical children toys. Everyone can learn from all the toys that have been eternally classified as one sex or the other (kitchenettes, toy cars, dolls, construction tools, strollers ... etc.). Another feature to consider is to choose toys that give them the opportunity to play alone or accompanied. Although there is no ideal toy for all children, there are some considerations that may guide our choice. A series of questions that can be helpful is listed:
- Is it well built?
- Does it develop the child's imagination?
- Does it allow the child to play with other children and / or adults?
- Do it allows the child to develop her skills and attitudes?
- Is it appropriate for your child's age?
- Can be used in different ways?
- Can you use it as the child grows?
Stage 1 : 0 to 6 Months
At this stage, children learn through the senses. They need toys that will develop their abilities to see, touch, smell and taste. Look for toys that have attractive colors (babies like colors) and different shapes and textures. As they put everything in their mouth, you need to choose toys that are washable and unbreakable and that do not have small or loose parts. Objects that produce a sound or movement always fascinate these little angels.
I list some ideas below:
- Wood or plastic rings
- Carpet of activities
- Objects that roll
- Movable mirrors for the crib or stroller.
Stage 2 : 6 to 12 Months
Here starts the exploration and manipulation of objects because these children begin developing eye-hand-mouth coordination. This baby needs objects of different shapes, sizes, weights and textures that can hit, throw, squeeze, move and also invite them to move her body. They are learning that they can produce a sound and a movement and they are delighted to make such actions.
Some examples of toys for 6 to 12 months babies :
- Cloth or plastic blocks
- Cloth dolls
- Musical objects
- Bath toys such as cups and strainers
- Boxes and containers to load and unload.
Stage 3: 1 to 2 Years
The child at this age loves to wander around the house and discover new skills such as jumping and climbing.
He is getting better with his hands and fingers and can manipulate smaller objects. Still it is very important to look after them especially when given toys with smaller parts.The child also loves to imitate adults like talking on the phone, reading or drawing.
Some ideas for this age group?
- Cars and Trucks
- Stacking blocks
- Digital paint or crayons
- Farm animals or zoo
- Masses for modeling and tools such as molds
- Few puzzle pieces
- Simple musical instruments
- Books interaction (with sounds, reliefs, stamping, audio, etc.)
Stage 4: 2 to 3 Years
Kids at this age are fascinated by role playing ,for example, objects can be turned into something else, or the child can act as a mom or dad, a princess or a pirate.
Their attention spans are increasing and have more interest with play with other kids although they do not always like to share their toys. They listen to listen to stories,dance and sing.
Some more ideas:
- Stories telling
- Various objects for dress
- Construction tools and objects to assemble
- Memories and simple lotteries
- Toys that allow you to represent the doctor, school, house, kitchen
- Balls of different sizes
- Objects to drain and pour,
- Dolls and puppets.
Stage 5 : 3 to 5 Years
Kids of this age group likes challenge. They are interested in knowing how things work and know that he can build great things like buildings, a large painting or sculpture, invent a song or even a joke to laugh mom or dad.
He is physically and mentally active. He has developed great skill in his hands and fingers that he can start cutting with scissors and draw lines or color books
- Blocks to assemble
- Simple puzzles
- Tea Sets
- Drawing books, Paints and brushes, round tip scissors
- Throwing objects, loading and unloading
- Outdoor toys: slides, swings, hammocks, tricycles
So for this Christmas and any other occasion, choose carefully what you are going to buy for your kids. Toys should be in the first place, safe and educational that help in the development of the child.