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Selecting Toys by Jill Norris, MPH
Read this in Spanish: La selección dejuguetes
When choosing a toy, it is best to pay careful attention to the safety and durability of the materials of which the toy is made and the age child it is made for. Toys that are age inappropriate could be a safety hazard for younger children. It is also important to consider the educational value of toys and recognize that this criterion is not necessarily met through high cost. We have all seen children who are more interested in playing with a large box than with the toys that came in it.
Look for toys that teach children to build muscle control, use their imagination, solve problems, figure out how things work, and learn to cooperate with others.
Toys for young infants (birth to six months) should encourage looking, listening, sucking, and grasping. Suggested toys for this age group are things such as unbreakable crib mirrors, rag dolls, stuffed toys and simple hand puppets. Infants 6-12 months of age need toys to support their social, cognitive, and physical development. Ideal toys are floating objects for bath play, construction materials, simple puzzles, balls, and cloth and board books.
As toddlers become increasingly mobile and independent, one year-olds need toys that involve dressing, lacing, and stringing materials, picture and nursery rhyme books, nontoxic crayons for scribbling and stacking materials. For older toddlers, consider role-playing toys, pegboards, and large balls to kick, throw and catch.
Three to five-year-olds tend to be interested in toys that promote pretend play, encourage language development and increase social skills. Blocks, dramatic play materials, a variety of books, and simple games are good choices for this age group.
School age children (6 to 8 years of age) need toys that focus on more specialized skill development. Suggested items for this age group include, art and craft materials, books, more complex games that involve turn-taking, as well as natural objects such as sea shells that foster an interest in science.
For additional information on selection of appropriate toys, check out these websites:
Articles For Parents brought to you by the WKU CCR&R
- Gardening with Children Makes Sense by Dr. Connie Jo Smith
- Having Fun With Fall Activities by Sherri Meyer
- Hide and Seek by Dr. Connie Jo Smith
Read this in Spanish: El Escondite
- Helping Build Self Esteem by Sherri Meyer
Read this in Spanish: Cómo ayudar a fortalecer una autoestima saludable
- Homework – How to help your School Ager! by Sherri Meyer
Read this in Spanish: La tarea – ¡cómo ayudar a sus niños!
- Learning at Family Gatherings by Dr. Connie Jo Smith
Read this in Spanish: Aprendizaje en las reuniones familiares
- Lesson Back to School Stress by Jill Norris, MPH
- Parenting with Assets by Sherri Meyer
Read this in Spanish: El cuidar de niños con beneficios
- Picture This: Using Your Child’s Photo for Learning Experiences by Dr. Connie Jo Smith
- Toys From Trash by Dr. Connie Jo Smith
- What’s That? Why? How does that Work? Encouraging Children to Question their Surroundings by Sherri Meyer
Read this in Spanish: ¿Qué es? ¿Por qué? ¿Cómo funciona? Animar a los niños a cuestionar sus alrededores
- Why Should My Child Play with Blocks? by Sherri Meyer
Read this in Spanish: ¿Por qué mi niño(a) debe jugar con bloques?
“When you open a book for your child and share it in reading, you’re giving shape and dimension to the routine events of everyday life, making it possible for your child to discover the meaning of childhood." Regina Higgins, Magic Kingdoms
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