When choosing toys and activities for kids, adults need to consider whether they are appropriate for the child's age and stage of development.
When buying a new toy, check its recommended age-appropriate level which is usually indicated on the packaging. It's important to remember though that age recommendations are only guidelines and children don't all develop at the same rate.
Up to the age of one, babies are focused on exploring their world with their senses. They like toys where they can use their hands, mouths, and eyes. Entertaining cot toys, like colourful mobiles, always make good baby toys as do floor activity centres, soft dolls, stuffed animals and squeaky toys - toys that babies can squeeze and touch.
Young toddlers between one and three years old are into absolutely everything, and that’s because they are in the process of developing their large motor skills and hand eye coordination. Good toys for this age group include soft blocks, large balls, push and pull toys, pounding and shaping toys, and books.
Between the ages of three to five, young children are developing quickly, learning to use their imaginations, and developing social skills. Good toy ideas include non-toxic art supplies, musical toys, pretend toys such as play money and telephones, teddy bears and dolls, and outdoor toys such as a tricycle with a helmet.
Rotorua Home Based Childcare is very particular about the toys we introduce to the children in our care, ensuring they are age-appropriate and ones that will help develop and stimulate their minds.