Recently I had a great conversation with a member of Parenting Foundations. She asked, “what are some developmentally appropriate toys for my children?” Her children are just under one year. I really wanted to answer this question with a bit more information and up to date real life information. So I took to social media and the forum to ask people what were their child’s favorite toys at various stages.
Before I dive into the answers I received I want to have a brief discussion on the fact that children are always more intrigued by real life items. Children love to explore their environment and are drawn to the items they see in everyday life. For example, our son loved the pots and pans! When I was getting supper ready it would not be surprising to have a little body beside me reaching in the cupboard for a pot that he saw me pull out a few minutes before. To encourage his exploration and discovery we had a few cupboards that he was able to access and he could scoot over to explore them (yes this was well before he could walk, he walked at 10.5 months). Another favorite for our young man was playing in the sink. I would pull up a chair to the sink and stay with him while he “did the dishes”. Of course, they were mostly plastic until he turned 3. He started this around 11 months. The point of this is to look around your house and offer real life items before feeling the need to run out and buy toys.
Now let’s get into the nitty gritty of age appropriate toys…..
Wait a second. Have you ever brought home a new toy only for your child to play with the packaging or box it came in for what seems like forever! I often would give the box or packaging (as long as it was safe) before giving the new toy. Large boxes have been great entertainment.
Developmentally/Age Appropriate Toys for infants and Toddlers up to 2 years of age
Infants birth to 6 months
- Rattles that are easily grasped
- Tummy time mats
- Play mats especially the ones that are like a piano
Infants 6 to 12 months
- Sit and Stand toys ( toys they can push or sit and play with)
- Stacking Cups
- Music toys
12 months to 2 years
- pretend play toys (kitchen set, broom set, vacuum, plastic lawn mower)
- Toys that sing or talk (Scout from Leap Pad, Elmo action dolls, etc)
- Shape sorters
- Pop-up toys (Play Skool “busy Poppin Pals”)
- Push along toys (Best ones are the ones where kiddos can’t push them too fast)
- Ride on toys
- Toys that can be pushed or rode on (our son’s favorite was the Zebra from V-tech)
The are a number of gadgets and toys available. Remember less is more and safety is essential. I will admit we have purchased many toys that that do not get the playtime that I was expecting. To avoid this I would recommend watching your children when they are around other children and their toys to see what seems to catch their action the most.
Let’s continue this topic in the forum for those that are members of Parenting Foundations. You can add specific toys that your child enjoyed.