on finding the best toys for your child's needs:
Always choose toys that are age-appropriate. The manufacturer
will provide this information on the packaging. This is
for safety. If a toy says 3 years and up do not give it
to a 1 year old. Often, there are small parts in toys
labeled 3 years and up that can be choking hazards for
younger children and children who still put toys in their
Developmentally Appropriate Toys!
What is your child working on mastering? Walking?
Stacking? Pretending? Your child will repeat behavior
over and over and over again until a skill is mastered.
When a toy is developmentally appropriate it is immediately
attractive to the child. For example, a one year old who
is just learning to walk will be very excited about a
push toy that allows him to balance himself while walking.
A two year old will love anything that stacks, nests and/or
spills. A three year old will love pretend play toys,
and so on!
- Find a
much variety to choose from, choose a toy in a theme that
your child enjoys. Some children love farm animals and
others dinosaurs! Choose a toy with a theme that's appealing
to your child.
- Let Them
many toys have an intended purpose, children can almost
always find another way to play with a toy. As long as
it's safe, let them explore! Many manufacturers also include
additional play ideas on or inside the toy's packaging.
- A Word
About Special Needs
If you have a child with special needs you may not
be able to go by the manufacturer's recommended age. Even
if your child is over 3 years old, small parts may be
unsafe for your child. You know your child best and if
she's putting toys in her mouth, make sure to keep any
toys labeled with "small parts" warnings away
Some children need help to understand how to play with
toys. Try modeling how to use a particular toy and then
let your child try it. More
information about toys for special needs.