Once you become a parent, your entire world changes upside down. You start questioning nearly everything and you turn into Sherlock Holmes: Is this type of baby food good for my child? Which diapers are the best? How long should I wait before I cut his nails for the first time? Is this toy safe for him, or is he still too young for it? Millions of questions every day, and before you get familiar with certain ‘rules’ to guide you, you might catch yourself panicking and thinking you’re doing something wrong. To help you a bit on this long and challenging (but oh-so-rewarding) journey, here is a short list of age appropriate toys for your child.
For babies under 1 year
For younger and older infants, the best toys are those which develop their senses and slowly show them the wonders of the world. They like to touch things and put them in their mouth, and bright colours amaze and almost hypnotize them, so it is a good idea to give them something nice to touch. Teething toys, differently textured balls and soft dolls, large rings, and colourful rattles are safe and good choice for them. Also, they enjoy soft music, so you can play some lullabies and read them nursery rhymes. In addition, they are fascinated by faces, so you can give them unbreakable mirrors and watch them study their own face.
For one year olds
When they turn one, children are already very active and want to explore the world on their own. They already speak a few words, run around freely, and like climbing stairs. They always imitate grownups, so pretend toys are a must – toy phones, dolls and stuffed toys, plastic cars and animals, etc. You can read them simple stories, play them recordings with rhymes, and give them books with simple illustrations of real objects. Large and small balls will allow them to use large and small muscles and washable, non-toxic crayons will allow them to start creating.
For toddlers (2 year olds)
If you thought one year olds are active, the energy of toddlers will amaze and completely exhaust you. They love running, hanging by their arms, jumping, climbing, and rolling around. They can pick up small objects and play with them. This is the right time to introduce educational toys and help them learn something through simple games: puzzles, objects they can sort by shape, size, and colour, and anything with buttons and hooks. Play them soft music, read them short stories, let them draw with crayons and water colours… Let them develop all their skills and senses.
For preschoolers and kindergarteners
Their attention span is longer (but not really long) and now they can play with a bit more complicated puzzles and toys and dolls with a lot of accessories (dresses, cars, little kitchens, etc.). If you show them, they will soon master some basic computer skills and you can let them play interactive games, play them some nice songs and cartoons online, and even read them a bit longer stories from books. Let them develop their muscles by encouraging them to drive bikes, climb taller climbers (with something soft underneath), and go through tunnels. They will have more control over their bodies and develop love for physical activity.
You will struggle, and certainly make some right and some wrong decisions, but there is no reason to worry. You will keep learning your entire life how to be a parent, and you and your child will grow and learn together. Feel free to explore, read, and do some more research before you decide to buy a toy for your child. This way, you will learn a lot and be prepared for new toys and new interests as your child grows.
Image source Pixabay.com
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