Check Table of Contents
- They Meet Children’s Developmental Needs
- Age-appropriate Toys Foster Independence
- Age-appropriate Toys Improve Problem-Solving Skills
- Age-appropriate Toys Are More Enjoyable to Play With
- What is the Recommended age for Pull-Along Toys?
- What is the Recommended Age for Shape Sorters?
- Are there Toys that are Bad for a Child’s Development?
Are there days you go shopping for toys and feel unsure which toys are best for your little one? Well, almost every parent has experienced this.
Most children are fascinated with any new toy because they perceive toys as nothing more than playthings.
However, as a parent, it is advisable that you ensure they have toys that match their developmental level, interests, as well as the skills they’re learning. Simply stated, get them age-appropriate toys.
Here are a 5 reasons why every child needs age-appropriate toys.
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They Meet Children’s Developmental Needs
You know what’s good about age-appropriate toys? They are designed to meet the developmental needs of children of that specific age.
Well-established toy companies employ child psychologists and behaviorists to determine the age limits for each toy.
This means that if you spot that a toy’s package has the “Recommended for ages 5 and up” tag, the manufacturer has designed that toy for use by 5-year-olds, based on the developmental milestones of that specific age.
Therefore, a 3-year-old playing with the toy will most likely not handle the toy as it’s meant to be done.
So, ignore the thought that “My child is smart, she will handle it” because it will most likely end in frustration and tears.
They Are Safe for Your Child
The recommended age factor also considers the safety of each toy.
By law, all toys are subjected to rigorous safety testing.
Toy manufacturers exercise due diligence when setting a minimum age limit for each toy by testing to the safety standards for the specific age bracket.
For instance, a 7-year-old can safely play with toys that have coins, push pins and small balls.
However, for 2-year-olds, such toys would be choking hazards.
Age-appropriate Toys Foster Independence
Do you recall a time when you bought your little one a toy that took them too long to understand? They could barely handle the toy without your help.
Well, there’s a high likelihood the toy was not appropriate for their age.
Experts suggest that with age-appropriate toys, children can engage in independent play from as early as 3 months.
With developmentally-appropriate toys, your little one can play without your intervention.
This is the time for that well deserved break for mom/dad!
Age-appropriate Toys Improve Problem-Solving Skills
Age-appropriate toys ensure that the challenges your little one is tasked to resolve are neither too easy, neither too difficult that they give up.
For instance, a puzzle designed for 3-year-olds is too easy for 7-year-olds, the same way a puzzle designed for 7-year-olds is too complex for 3-year-olds.
So, age-appropriate toys provide just sufficient challenge for your little one, which improves their problem-solving skills.
Age-appropriate Toys Are More Enjoyable to Play With
You know what’s the icing on the cake for age appropriate toys? They are so much fun to play with!
Playing with suitable toys is enjoyable because children are able to explore, solve problems, and grow their imaginations.
These toys accommodate what excites each age and developmental stage so they are more enjoyable for kids!
What is the Recommended age for Pull-Along Toys?
Pull-along toys are best for children aged 15-18 months, upwards.
At this age, most children are walking and stable on their feet.
Getting them a few pull-along toys will boost the muscles on their hands, arms, legs and torso.
Don’t forget about the hand-eye coordination and motor skills that come with the pull-along toys!
What is the Recommended Age for Shape Sorters?
Shape sorters are recommended for 2-year-olds, upwards.
Most shape sorters are made from hard plastic or wooden materials. For this reason, they may be too heavy for children less than 2 years old, which means they would most likely fall off your little one’s grasp and break off.
By their 2nd birthday, children’s muscles have developed significantly. Also, it is around this age that children begin to recognize shapes and differentiate them.
Are there Toys that are Bad for a Child’s Development?
Absolutely. There are toys that are not good for children.
For instance, toys that make too much noise or those that are overloaded with moving parts. This extreme active stimulation causes sensory overload for your child.
They also make it difficult for children to focus, which significantly affects their concentration span.
When your child plays with such toys for long, you realize that they have difficulty concentrating on different things.
Further, some toys encourage extremely aggressive play that is harmful for kids.
Several studies have found that aggression levels increase significantly when children play with aggressive toys, such as play guns.
Fortunately, much of the aggression is short-lived.
As a parent, ensure you get toy guns that look as fake as possible. For instance, those that shoot foam balls, bright-colored guns, or those that make silly noises.