Play is vital for learning in children. It is equally important that the toys and the materials that are used to make them are age appropriate for the children using them. Your child’s current developmental stage plays a major role in toy selection (Frost, Livestrong.com) As a general rule, you should always make sure that toys for young children are safe. Toys should be well made; not easily shattered, or broken.
Small children, even up to preschool age, still tend to put objects in their mouths if the pieces are small enough. Poor construction increases this risk of small parts coming off while your child plays with the toy (Frost, Livestrong.com). If painted, the toy should always be painted with non- toxic lead free paint. It is also important that a toy can be easily cleaned and disinfected to prevent the spread of germs (Good Toys for Young Children, NAEYC).
Very young babies enjoy looking at people and objects, therefore, toys with faces or bright colors would be excellent for that age (Good Toys for Young Children, NAEYC). As children grow and begin practicing their fine motor skills, toys that require small movements would be a great fit. Stacking blocks or cups would be very helpful (Frost, Livestrong.com).
The characteristics of toys, their safety, and how they may be used or abused is very important when selecting toys for your child. Understanding your child and their abilities and needs will help in choosing appropriate toys. Visualizing how each individual child would play with a toy will help you to determine the educational value it offers (Frost, Livestrong.com).
Developmentally Appropriate Toy for Ages 6-12 Months
Fisher-Price Rainbow Snail Stacker
This cheery snail’s base wobbles and make sounds when batted at. The colorful arches of his back are removable and stackable for exciting play! This toy allows a child to practice and progress their fine motor skills. As the baby learns to distinguish different colors he/she will begin to develop thinking skills. The snail’s bright and exciting colors as well as the entertaining sounds it creates will attract the child. Parents will enjoy this toy as well as children because it is made of safe materials, does not take up a lot of room, is easily cleaned, helps the child to learn, and most importantly brings happiness to their children. This is a very positive, age appropriate toy for this stage of development.
Laugh and Learn to Play Puppy
The Laugh & Learn Learning Puppy will definitely entertain your child. The toy merges learning with two different musical modes – learning mode and game mode. In learning mode, the puppy teaches the alphabet, different body parts, and colors through song. When you switch to the game mode, the puppy encourages interactive play, giving fun word play for the baby. This is an awesome toy for this age group. The soft material, light up heart, and sing along songs stimulate the child’s senses.
When in game mode, the child will work on hand and eye coordination, as the puppy responds to the baby’s touch. The bright colors and fun songs of this precious pup attract and keep the babies attention. A parent would be very satisfied with toy because it teaches the baby letters, numbers, feelings, and parts of the body. It is also soft and plush, so even when turned off can be a comfort to the child. I would definitely choose this toy. It touches many of the different learning needs of children in this age group.
Growing Baby Elephant Shape Sorter
The Growing Baby Elephant Shape Sorter is tons of fun! The friendly elephant head moves from side to side. This toy features 8 shape blocks: 2 circles, 2 triangles, 2 squares and 2 stars for a fun filled game of fill and spill. This would be an excellent choice for this developmental stage. The brightly colored blocks will help the baby start to identify different shapes and colors.
Putting blocks in and taking them out of the base will refine the child’s eye and hand coordination. The repetitiveness would be very appealing to a young child as well as the colorful blocks and happy looking elephant. Any parent would select this toy as it is educational, safe, and made from an easily cleaned material. I would definitely select this toy for my child. It helps to refine their fine motor skills as well as helping the child with problem solving skills as they work to fit the correct shapes in the holes. This is a great fit for any child six to twelve months old.