A trip to the toyshop can come with a lot of casualties. Without a sound guideline and shopping list, you will face the consequences, after all; no soldier has ever gone to a fight unarmed!
Does a perfect toy even exist? A toy that will keep your child entertained whilst developing their skills? The experts at Clamber Club have given us a list of things you need to consider when you go toy shopping. With this list, you’ll leave the store with play sets that will keep your children entertained for hours, while teaching them valuable skills in the process.
Toys That Stimulate
Toys help infants and babies begin to make sense of the world around them. “Providing toys that stimulate your baby’s senses of sight and sound is a good way to help your child grow. As your child becomes able to grasp objects, providing him or her with toys that have different textures will help them learn,” says Eric Watson, Clamber Club Toy Distributor. Liz Senior, Occupational Therapist and Founder of Clamber Club, adds, “It is important to create a stimulating environment for your child and provide opportunities for them to use their senses to start understanding the world around them. Toys are an important part of this journey.”
Clamber Club’s Top Tips When Choosing Toys For Your Child
Ask yourself, what can my child do with the toy, and not what the toy can do. Be aware of the powerful influence of TV and film. It can work to your advantage such as encouraging puzzles, but sometimes movie- or TV series-branded toys lack essential play value.
- Consider your child’s developmental level and interests as a guide to your toy choices.
- Don’t over-focus on the recommended age on the packaging, which is often driven by insurance issues rather than appropriate development age.
- Look for toys that leave room for your child to use his or her imagination in how they play.
- Consider an array of toys and activities that encourage your child to use and explore all developmental domains: physical, cognitive, sensory, speech and language, social and emotional.
Toys Recommend For Your Child At Each Developmental Stage
- Choose well-secured, unbreakable crib and wall mirrors.
- Simple stuffed animals without parts like eyes and hair that can detach.
- Simple mobiles with high contrast design, well secured and out of your baby’s reach.
6 to 12 Months
This is the age when motor skills are exploding! Your child is learning to sit up and manipulate toys (banging, dropping, stacking, opening and closing). As their physical exploration moves from crawling to cruising (walking while holding onto a walker or furniture) and eventually walking, your child will love things that move too.
Toddlers (between 1 – 2)
The world is opening up for your toddler, and so comes the floodgate of emotions and behaviours. Your child will begin to express pleasure, protest and is developing his or her own personality. Your toddler is definitely an explorer, so give him or her ample opportunity and space to experiment and manipulate toys. You’ll also want to keep them active. Toys that encourage movement will be a big hit.
Two-year-olds are full of energy and seem to learn new skills every day. You’ll notice increased language development and that your child takes more of an interest in socialising with others. Provide opportunities for your child to move and develop their gross motor skills, cognitive skills, and their social/emotional skills.
When your child turns three, you’ll notice that your child plays actively with others, be it their peers or you. It is the age of imagination and role-playing, so encourage make-believe by stocking toys that help with ‘let’s pretend’.
When it comes to development, four-year-olds are developing greater self-control and ingenuity. They also have a keen interest in trying new experiences. You’ll notice your four-year-old taking an interest in language, more complex sentences and identifying words or letters and that they are even more curious than during their toddler phase!
Have you noticed your five-year-old asking ‘why’ more often? That’s because five-year-olds are very creative problem solvers and are becoming more analytical. Support their development with games that help hone their analytical skills; toys that keep them active and creative materials that help spark imagination.
Remember to pay Clamber Club a visit!
SOURCE: CLAMBER CLUB, IMAGE: PIXABAY