In addition to being safe (see Safety and toys for children below), types of toys for young children should match their developmental stages and emerging skills. Many safe and appropriate play materials are free items that are usually found in the home.
Cardboard boxes, plastic bowls and lids, plastic bottle cap collections and other “treasures” can be used in more ways than one by children of different ages.
When reading the following lists of suggested toys for children of different ages, keep in mind that each child develops at an individual rate. Items in a list, provided they are safe, can be good options for children who are younger and older than the suggested age range.
Toys for young babies: from birth to 6 months:
Babies like to look at people, follow them with their eyes. Usually they prefer bright faces and colors. Babies can reach, fascinate themselves with what their hands and feet can do, lift their heads, turn their heads towards sounds, put things in their mouths and much more!
Good toys for small babies:
Things they can reach, hold, suck, shake, make noise: rattles, large rings, tightening toys, teething toys, soft dolls, textured balls and vinyl and cardboard books.
Things to listen to: books with children’s songs and poems, and recordings of lullabies and simple songs Things to look at: photos of hanging faces so baby can see them and unbreakable mirrors.
Toys for babies older than 7 to 12 months:
Older babies move, usually going from turning around and sitting, walking, bouncing, crawling, getting up and standing. They understand their own names and other common words, can identify parts of the body, find hidden objects and put and take things out of containers.
Good toys for older babies:
Things to play: dolls, puppets, plastic and wooden vehicles with wheels and water toys.Things to place and take out: plastic bowls, large beads, balls and nesting toys. Things to build: large soft blocks and wooden cubes. Things to use your big muscles: big balls, push and pull toys, and soft, low crawling things
Toys for 1 year old children:
The one-year-old children are on their way! Usually, they can walk steadily and even climb stairs. They enjoy stories, say their first words and can play alongside other kids (but not yet with them!). They like to experiment, but they need adults to keep them safe.
Good toys for 1 year old children:
Boards with simple illustrations or photographs of real objects. Recordings with songs, rhymes, simple stories and images. Things to create: wide, non-toxic, washable markers, crayons and large paper.
Things to pretend: toy phones, dolls and doll beds, kids carriages and strollers, clothing accessories (scarves, wallets), puppets, stuffed animals, plastic animals and “realistic” plastic and wood vehicles.
Things to build: cardboard and wood blocks (may be smaller than those used by babies, 2 to 4 inches) Things to use your large and small muscles: puzzles, large boards, toys with parts that do things (dials, switches, knobs, caps) and large and small balls
Toys for 2 year olds (young children):
Young children are quickly learning the language and have some sense of danger. However, they do many physical “tests”: they jump from the heights, climb, hang from their arms, roll and play abruptly. They have nice control of their hands and fingers and like to do things with small objects.
Good toys for 2 year olds:
Things to solve problems: wooden puzzles (with 4 to 12 pieces), joining blocks, objects to classify (by size, shape, color, smell) and things with hooks, buttons, buckles and brooches.
Things to pretend and build: blocks, smaller (and sturdy) transport toys, construction games, children’s furniture (cooking games, chairs, food to play), clothing, dolls with accessories, puppets and sand toys and water.
Things to create: large, non-toxic and washable crayons and markers, brushes and paint for large fingers, large paper to draw and paint, colored construction paper, scissors the size of a small child with blunt tips, blackboard and large chalk e rhythm instruments Illustrated books with more details than books for younger children.
CD and DVD players with a variety of music (of course, phonograph players and cassette recorders also work!).Things to use your big and small muscles: big and small balls to kick and throw, equipment to ride (but probably not tricycles until children are 3 years old), tunnels, low climbers with soft material underneath and bumps and hammering toys.
Toys for children 3 to 6 years (preschoolers and nurseries):
Preschoolers and kindergarteners have longer attention periods than young children. They usually talk a lot and ask a lot of questions. They like to experiment with things and their physical abilities still emerging. They like to play with friends, and they don’t like to lose! They can take turns, and sharing a toy with two or more children is often possible for preschoolers and older preschoolers.
Good toys for 3- to 6-year-olds:
Things to solve problems: puzzles (with more than 12 to 20 pieces), joining blocks, collections and other smaller objects to classify by length, width, height, shape, color, smell, quantity and other characteristics: bottle collections Plastic caps, bowls and plastic caps, keys, shells, bears counters, small colored blocks.
Things to pretend and build: many blocks to build complex structures, transport types of toys, construction games, children’s furniture (“apartment” games, food to play), costume clothes, dolls with accessories, puppets and simple puppet theaters , and sand and toys to play with water.
Things to create: colored pencils and markers large and small, brushes and paint for large and small fingers, large and small paper to draw and paint, colored construction paper, scissors for preschoolers, blackboard and large and small chalk , modeling clay and modeling clay, modeling tools, paste, paper and scraps of cloth for collage and instruments: rhythm instruments and keyboards, xylophones, maracas and tambourines.
Illustrated books with even more words and more detailed images than books for young children
CD and DVD players with a variety of music (of course, phonograph players and cassette recorders also work!).
Things to use your big and small muscles: big and small balls to kick and throw / catch, ride equipment that includes tricycles, tunnels, higher climbers with soft material underneath, carts and wheelbarrows, plastic sticks and balls, plastic bowling , objectives and things to throw at them, and a workbench with a vice, hammer, nails and saw.
If a child has access to a computer: programs that are interactive (the child can do something) and that children can understand (the software uses graphics and oral instruction, not just printing), children can control the pace and route of the software, and children have opportunities to explore a variety of concepts at various levels.
To know more about Types of Toys you can check here: All Kinds of Toys for Kids