How to pick the perfect toy for a child

Do you remember your favorite toy as a child? From stuffed toy monkeys to dinky cars, everyone has a favorite toy they wouldn’t leave out of their sight when they were younger. While the earlier generations may be more familiar with blocks and raggedy Ann dolls, babies and children today are spoilt for choice. When it comes to kid’s toys available today, there is no end of the variety you can choose from. They can be categorized in a number of ways with age, gender and interests being the most common. Here’s a quick guide on how to choose a toy for a child on the basis of his or her age.

New born infants up to 6 months old : Toys not only entertain a child, but can also aid in their development. New born babies find toys that make a loud noise or have contrasting color schemes extremely appealing as it sharpens their sense of sight and sound. Once they can hold onto things, you could buy them kid’s toys that do not have any small pieces and can withstand a baby’s teething. Avoid toys that have sharp edges or long cords that the baby can get entangled in.

6 months to a year: At this age, an infant can sit up by himself and has sufficient motor skills to move things around. Hence, toys that can be stacked together or put in and taken out appeal to babies of this age. Once they start crawling and walking, you could also introduce them to toys that move alongside them.

1 to 2 years : At this stage, children like exploring new territories and showcase immense curiosity. Thus, toys that help them walk or climb like wagons and small slides seem very fascinating. Simple puzzles and nontoxic colors can also aid in the development of their motor skills and cognitive abilities.

2 to 3 years : This is when children are the most imaginative and hence toys that fuel this imagination are ideal for them. Having mastered hand-eye coordination, they also enjoy block puzzles, puppets and basic arts and crafts. Children of this age group are also extremely active and toys like wading pools, tricycles and playhouses help them burn energy.

3 to 6 years : This is when children become social and start playing with others of their own age. Arts and crafts oriented toys are popular with children in this age bracket as are costumes and props to accompany their imaginations. Simple word and picture matching games also help the child develop his or her vocabulary and act as educational toys.

6 to 9 years : Children in this group begin enjoying the art of strategizing and enjoy board games and table top sports. They may also like to experiment with arts and crafts, science or magic through DIY kits. This is an age in which they can be encouraged to take up outdoor sports.

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