Choosing Toys For Children From Birth To 5 Years

Choosing the Appropriate Toys for Your ChildChoosing the Appropriate Toys for Your ChildSherri Johnson, Psy. D.

Choosing the appropriate toys for children requires careful consideration of the age of the child and the developmental activity the toy promotes. Parents play an important role in providing age appropriate and safe toys that enhance development in their children. Going into a toy store is overwhelming with the many toy choices that are available. The package guidelines for the age level of a toy should be considered; however, the developmental stage of the child and the tasks the child is mastering are essential for the child to gain the most benefit from the toys purchased. The following information provides a general overview of the developmental tasks of children based on age and samples of toys that may be purchased for these tasks. While I Pads and electronic devices are great for children, nothing can take the place of hands on play with toys that require manipulation and imagination! Toys that are included on the Life Stages website will also be referenced and linked for you convenience.

“Emotions, not cognitive stimulation, serve as the mind’s primary architect. We suggest that babies’ emotional exchanges with their caregivers, rather than their ability to fit pegs into holes…should become the primary measuring rod of development and intellectual competence.” ~Stanley Greenspan

Developmental Tasks and Appropriate Toys by Age:

Birth to 3 months
3 to 6 months
6 to 9 months
9 to 15 months
15 to 24 months
24 months to 3 years
3 to 5 years