Choosing Toys for Your Child
Toys are a great way to to support your children in their physical and intellectual development .
The best toys for children are quality toys and games that last and that your children will come back to again and again provide the basics that support this development from an early age.
Open-ended toys provide children with a broad range of play options. Open ended toys encourage imagination, creativity and problem-solving skills. Open ended toys allow for cooperative play and help the development of social skills.
Open-ended toys include:
- blocks – one day your children will use them to build towers and the next day the will create magic creatures or flying machines
- balls – they’re great to bounce, look at, roll, hold and throw
- dress-ups – prince’s and princesses, knights and pirates, children will create worlds of fancy
- arts & crafts – coloured paper, stickers, crayons and washable markers can get your child started on a masterpiece.
Puzzles and Games provide children with stimulating challenges that can be completed in quiet contemplation of collaboration. Games teach broad skills of strategy and logic that help any child expand their intellect.
Choosing toys for kids
Many toys have age-range information on their packaging. This can be useful, but in terms of play, it’s only a guide. Your child’s interests and stage of development will probably give you a better idea of what to choose.
Age-range information can be important for safety, however – for example, when toys contain small parts that a baby could swallow. In these cases, it’s wise to follow the recommended age-range information.
For your baby, the best ‘toy’ is you, a carer or other close family member. Your baby will delight in watching your face, listening to your voice and simply being with you. Play activities like looking at a brightly coloured mobile, listening to a wind-up musical toy and learning to reach for a rattle are more fun when you and your baby do them together.
Toddlers love to play with boxes, and often have as much fun with the wrapping a present comes in as the present itself. Other good choices for toddlers include construction toys like building blocks (for example, Wooden Story) and clothing for dress-ups. Toddlers also enjoy simple musical instruments that they can shake and bang – a drum made from an upside down pot and a wooden spoon can be just as much fun as a purpose-built toy.
Older children often like to solve problems and use their imagination. Puzzles or games that get your child playing with others are also good choices.
We recommend Australian Parenting Website “raisingchildren.net.au” as a great resource to help any parent seeking advice on raising their child.