Toys are very important for children’s development. When kids play with their toys, they enter a realm where there they can readily whip up their imagination and do anything and everything that they can think of. When kids apply certain rules to their play time activities, it becomes a game. And games are best accomplished with the right toys that are just perfect for the job. Whether it is for playtime activities or games, it is very important to be able to choose the right toy for your kid.
Understand Your Child’s Growth and Development Needs
Whenever we’re going to buy something for our children, it is imperative that we first understand what they really need. Unfortunately, very young kids are not yet fully able to communicate what they really want. Even older children may have problems communicating their needs. It is thus, up to us to learn a bit about child psychology especially on growth and development to gain an understanding of the different developmental landmarks that we can expect from our children at any given age. This is important as it lays the foundation on what type of toys is appropriate for a particular age group. For instance, babies 3 to 6 months old require a great deal of sensory stimulation. With this understanding, we can then choose toys that provide such benefits.
Determine the Features and Benefits of the Toy You Want to Get for Your Child
Once we have a clear understanding of the different developmental milestones we can expect to see from our kids, we can then move on to the other side of the equation; determination of the features and benefits of the toys we are going to buy for our child. In our example above, we know that babies will require a great deal of sensory stimulation. So that simply means we will need to look for toys that provide such benefits. Does it come in a variety of colors? Are there sounds or music? How about the texture of the toy? Is it even possible to smell it?
Compare the Benefits of the Toy and Your Child’s Developmental Needs
It is very important to match the benefits of the toy we’re entertaining to buy with the developmental needs of our child. This way we can help facilitate their learning and mastery of the different skills needed to successfully complete their growth and development for a particular stage. For instance, we know that it is important for babies to develop their sensorimotor skills. Toys that are really appropriate will be those that they can hold, see, touch, and even listen to. Mobiles, plush toys, and other similar playthings can be excellent ideas for the right toy for this particular age group of kids. The important thing to understand is to always match the product’s benefits to your child’s needs. If there’s no match, then move on to the next toy.
Consider Safety, Too
Just because there is a match between a toy’s features and your child’s development needs doesn’t necessarily mean you should buy it immediately. It is equally crucial to look at the safety profile of the toy. Again, your understanding of the basics of child growth and development will come in handy. In our example, we know that babies will generally eat anything that is placed on their hands. It is thus, critical to choose toys that do not have removable parts, especially small ones as these can be a great choking hazard.
Choosing the right toy for our kids is not always a walk in the park. But, there are certain things we can do to make sure we give them only the right stuff. For some great ideas check this post on toy & gift ideas for 6 year old girls to help choose the right product.