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    Toys & Gifts

    Choosing the right toys for the right age

    Written on 7 November 2017

    Selecting the right toy for your baby’s age is not just a matter of choosing a toy that will engage, educate and entertain them but it is also a matter of safety. If you have just visited any toy store recently, you will realise that choosing the right toy can be a tough job. Not only do you want to purchase a toy that will not cause any danger to your baby but it should also assist your child develop their full potential.

    Studies suggest that babies provided with age-appropriate toys will help them to develop more effectively and boos their creative abilities. By learning which toys are right for your child’s age, you can help them to stimulate the connections in their brains that are responsible for building your child’s future intelligence.

    Children under Six Months:

    • Activity centers to encourage reaching for motor control development
    • Mirrors designed with baby safety in mind to encourage your child to explore faces
    • Rattlers and tethers that will introduce baby to new textures.
    • Board books-even at this young age reading to your baby will help them with beginning language development

    6 to 12 Months: During this period, it is important to begin focusing on interactive play with your child. This includes introducing the concept of cause and effect as well working on eye-hand coordination.

    • Toys that are musical and make sounds
    • Baby gyms and activity courses to stimulate crawling
    • Bouncers to stimulate physical activity
    • Play telephones to encourage communication through mimicking
    • Soft dolls and stuffed animals for kids who love to cuddle

    12-18 Months: Around the time, your child turns one he or she may begin to walk or experiment with taking those first steps. Toys at this age should focus on supporting your child’s curiosity in exploration while further developing fine motor coordination.

    • Swing sets and safety trikes encourage physical activity and development
    • Building blocks for eye-hand coordination
    • Nesting cups and shape sorters to improve eye-hand coordination as well as problem-solving skills
    • Storybooks/picture books for language and vocabulary development

    18-24 Months: By the time they are 1 ½ years old most children begin to use their imagination in play. This typically takes on the form of make-believe; however, in reality this type of play is helping them to develop problem-solving strategies. Look for toys that support this important time of development by expanding their exposure to shapes, colors, and the ability to follow instructions and language. The important key to remember at this age is that kids are truly learning with hands-on play.

    • Costumes and dress-up to stimulate imagination
    • Push and pull toys that support both children that are beginning to walk as well as advanced walkers
    • Puzzles easy to manipulate with a small number of pieces
    • Playhouses and other scaled down objects that your child sees every day will give them the opportunity to mimic the world around them.

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