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When shopping for toys, consider the age, personality, interests, and skills of the intended recipient. Toys can help children build intellectual abilities as well as motor and social skills. Parents, relatives, and friends can help a growing child develop a well-rounded personality and skill set by providing him or her with a variety of toys.
Birth to 1 year oldInfants like to grasp and hold things, and they should be exposed to a variety of sight, sound, and touch experiences. Squishy toys and lightweight rattles as well as large blocks, nesting toys, and stacking toys, are good choices for the first few months of a baby's life.
1 to 3 years old
Toddlers like physical play activities. Outdoor toy possibilities include wagons, balls, and ride-on toys. Indoor toy selections include large blocks and toys that encourage development of hand-eye co-ordination. Toddlers like toys that enable them to imitate their parents, and toy safety is a very important consideration for children in this age group.
3 to 5 years oldPreschool children are fascinated with the way things work. Consider creative toys such as construction sets, crayons, and washable markers, as well as watercolor paints and simple board games. Introduce toys that enable children to practice life skills and imitate their parents. Examples include toy telephones and computers, doll houses, and pretend kitchen appliances.
5 to 9 years old
Introduce toys to young, school age children that teach them independence, team play, and sharing skills. Select hobby toys, sports equipment, computer software, and problem-solving toys, as well as construction sets and storybooks. Some games can help youngsters learn counting and problem-solving skills, while electronic toys with lights and sounds can help teach cause and effect relationships. Many toys are designed for children in this age group, and appropriate toys for specific age children are listed below.
5 year oldMajor play focus: play house, motor skills
6 year oldMajor play focus: motor skills, pretend play
7 year oldMajor play focus: outdoor play, realistic play
8 year oldMajor play focus: organized play
9 to 12 years oldPreteens highly value acceptance from their friends, and simple toys become less interesting to children at this age. Construction sets, science toys, and sports toys, as well as board games and puzzles, are good choices for preteens. Team and group sports and physical play activities are important for this age group. Board, card, and electronic games can help to develop social and intellectual skills.
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