Developmentally Appropriate Toys
Babies at this age are experiencing sight and hearing for the first time – that means colors, faces, shapes, voices, and noises are all new to them. Though sight can still be a bit blurry, at this age brightly colored things are appropriate. This can be brightly colored items hanging in a crib. Plastic mirrors are also an appropriate toy because babies are still learning what their body looks like. So much so that they can be fascinated with their own hands and feet as they discover them for the first time. This is a time to observe more than anything, so toys that engage senses are helpful.
6 – 12 Months
It is important for children at this age to still have toys that are mouth approved. In these next 6 months, a child should be learning to feed themselves, sit up, crawl, understand simple words, walk with little help, and show preferences. As the language skills, physical strength, listening skills, and a personality starts to develop, certain toys are better for this stage of development. Picture books are now something the child at this age can follow. Noise makers like rattles are effective. Stuffed animals, preferably soft and colorful with a smile, are appropriate for this age. As a child sees their stuffed animal smile, they will try to replicate that same smile.
Big milestones for this age are to be able to stand and walk alone, move their extremities in effort to help themselves get dressed, begin walking up stairs, drink from a sippy cup, use just one finger and thumb to pick up objects, recognize daily objects, point to certain body parts (head, nose, toes), and raise their arms when they want to be picked up. As their fine motor skills, social and emotional skills, and cognitive skills are improving, proper toys at this age include stacking rungs, push and pull toys, shape sorters, and simple musical instruments like drums. These toys challenge the child, in which the child should enjoy because learning is fun to them.
At this age, a child is starting to form sentences, learn how to play with others, understanding feelings, and they are starting to climb and jump. Due to their understanding of sentences and feelings, toys such as dolls, tea parties, and fake phones are some examples of toys specific to their development.
There is a tremendous increase in learning ability at this age, so educational toys that teach math or verbal skills are helpful. Board games without reading can even be educational, ones like Candyland and hungry hungry hippo. Other toys that are appropriate for this stage of development are art supplies, building toys (Legos, construction, Lincoln logs), and puzzles that challenge them. They are learning how to build and tear down. Kids at this age are able to imagine that they are playing with someone, so things like action figures and dress up clothes feed their imagination.
|0 -6 Months||6 – 12 Months||1 -2 Years||2- 3 Years||4– 5 Years|
-Things to hold and suck on
– Books with nursery rhymes
– Brightly colored things (hang in crib)
|– Books with different feels
– Stuffed animals
– Low soft things to crawl over
|– Stacking rings
– Push or pull toys that make noise
– Hammer sets
– Simple musical instruments (drums)
– Shape sorters
– Large play vehicles
– Four piece puzzles
– Rubber ducks, boats, or things that float for bath time
– Fake phones
– Ride on toys and tricycles
– Musical instruments
– Construction toys (building)
|– Art supplies
– Blocks of different shapes
– Legos or Lincoln logs
– Harder puzzles
– Action figures
– Dress up clothes
– Sports balls
– Board games without reading (Candyland, hungry hippo)
– Bicycles with training wheels
Ellie Ronning, Technician