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Remember the days when we could pick up a toy or any object for that matter, and pretend away. We were transformed into fantastic superheroes ready to save the day and glittering princesses dancing in a castle ballroom.
Kids love making believe with toys but at what age are they actually ready for such adventures? And are toys even good for them to play with?
It is good for your baby or toddler to play with toys as they are a great way for your child to develop important life skills at a very early age.
Whether the item is a random item at home such as cardboard or pans, or a babydoll/action figure purchased from a toy store, it will spark imagination and help children learn how to play.
The older your children get, the wider the variety of toys they will be able to play with. Infants play with a different selection of playthings than a two year old would and older children will graduate to toys that require more thought or concentration.
Letting your child play with toys also keeps them busy and occupied while you are busy doing other things that need to be done, Cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.
To see the most popular toys on the market right now just click here.
Are Toys Important For Babies?
Older children love to grab a toy and pretend but are they good for babies as well? Do they even understand what a toy is or how to use it?
Toys are an important part of your baby’s development. They help aid the infant develop their senses and also help build motor skills and hand eye coordination.
Sight, sound, touch, and taste are all helped when your baby plays with toys.
Playing with toys is a way your child can use their mind and imagination. This will help them be creative while having fun.
Toys are important because they will help your baby:
- Have more confidence
- Feel happy
- Develop important social and communication skills
- Learn about caring for something
- Develop physical skills
Are Less Toys Better For Toddlers?
Toys are not bad for you little one but having too many is not the best for them either. Children use their imagination when playing with just about anything and so there’s no need to spoil them with more toys they know what to do with.
When it comes to toys, less is more! It is not a bad thing for your toddler to have toys but they shouldn’t have an overabundance of them.
With having less toys to play with your child will have to use their imagination more and they can then focus more on creativity.
Social psychiatrist Susan Newman, PH.D. said “What often works is asking a child which toys she wants to play with now and which ones she wants for later. If it’s an unruly amount, a young child is apt to forget some items in the ‘enormous’ pile — you can hope for that.”
The fewer toys in your home also means not as much cleaning time and less picking them up. If you have old toys or toys that are never played with, consider donating them to a thrift store or charity thus giving you more space in your home without toys cluttering every corner and closet,
At What Age Do Babies Need Toys?
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that “Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth.”
However just because we know playing is important for children doesn’t help parents know when they should start giving their kids toys.
Babies need toys to entertain them from an early age but unfortunately there isn’t a specific age at which you should start introducing toys to your baby.
Most parents will give their children toys beginning at just a few months old. This helps keep the child entertained as well as gives the parent some needed rest from the child needing constant attention.
Whatever your child’s age, toys are fun and are accessible most anywhere. Below is a list explaining what toys are good for every age and some of the best toys for them.
Toys for children ages 0-6 months
At this age your baby will like anything they can feel, chew on, listen to, or look at. Early on you can start reading simple books to them.
Shaking a rattle is something that involves their hearing and they can even hold it in their tiny fist. Soft chewing toys are also very helpful when they are teething because baby’s love to put anything into their mouth.
Playing music is good for your baby’s brain development and something colorful will attract their attention so they can focus on looking at objects.
Some specific toys for the 0-6 month age group include:
- Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Learning Cube
- Lamaze Play & Grow Freddie the Firefly
- Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick & Play Piano Gym
Toys for children ages 7-12 months
Children in this age range will enjoy dropping things or using their arm muscles to pick up items. At this stage they are holding their head up and are more observant of things around them.
Babies in this age group still love books being read to them and listening to music but toys that are harder or heavier can also be played with. This will build their arm muscles and you can use the toy as a goal that they can crawl toward.
Popular options of toys for 7-12 months are as follows:
- Fisher-Price Baby’s First Blocks & Rock-a-Stack, Plant-Based Toys
- Laugh & Learn® Smart Stages™ Puppy
- Stacking Action Blocks
Toys for children who are 1 year old
1 year olds will enjoy looking at books, listening to songs and coloring. At this age they will start pointing at the pictures and dancing to the music. They can start playing with bigger toys and even using crayons to color.
Great toys for a 1 year old include:
Toys for children who are 2 years old
2 year olds will be able to pretend and create and like to solve problems such as a puzzle. They also can be more active once they start walking well and enjoy running through tunnels, etc.
Coloring is fun for them as they try to draw shapes and use different colors.
Some popular toys for two year olds are:
Toys are a wonderful way to keep your baby happy while also teaching them about colors and imagination.
A child’s development is important while they are young so when they reach the age where they show an interest in playing with toys let them! Let them advance their creativity and learn.
Pretending is such an important part of childhood. Toys are fun and are important for every child.
“Being there for a child is the most noble thing a toy can do” – Woody.