When we think back to our childhood we often remember a beloved toy that we simply could not be without. However, if we try to think back more carefully, we usually remember that our favorite toy changed many times during our younger years. Toys are fantastic tools to entertain children, to help them develop and learn, and to teach them responsibility for their possessions. There are some very good reasons why toys should be age-appropriate, so when you are buying a present for your child or someone else’s, it is very important to consider how old the child is when choosing the gift. The wrong gift will not suit the child’s interests or level of development and could even be dangerous.
This article will explain why gifts for kids should always be age-appropriate.
1. Toys are Very Important for Different Stages of Child Development
The right gift can be very beneficial in a child’s development as long as it is designed for that age of the child. Fortunately, most toys these days have age guides on them to help parents choose. There are also great toy websites that organize their toys into age groups to make it easier to find the right gift. The toy experts at Gear Unicorn give reviews and recommendations to the best toys for each different age group. Different ages have a unique set of developmental stages and the best gifts will help to maximize the child’s development at whatever stage they are at. These developments could be physical, emotional, cognitive, or mental developments, but all are vital in ensuring that a child reaches the next stage.
2. Babies Need Toys which Stimulate their Senses
Babies and young toddlers have little comprehension of the functionality of toys, so the best gifts for infants are toys that provide a sensory experience. Young infants experience the world almost purely through what they can see, smell, hear and touch so you should try to buy gifts with interesting textures that can be held, hugged, and squeezed. This will help babies to strengthen their hands and coordination. Toddlers who need to develop hand-eye coordination are stimulated by toys that can be organized or with functions that require the child to pull, push, twist, stack, or knock things down. The child learns that they can influence how objects act based on their actions which is extremely important for cognitive development and understanding the world around them.
3. Young Children Need Toys which Develop Creativity
As children grow, the most important thing is for them to start developing creative skills. There is a wide range of gifts that can be bought for this age of the child, which will allow them to be creative in lots of different ways. Art supplies will allow children to draw, paint, and sculpt which are fantastic for developing creativity as well as further improving the accuracy of their hand-eye coordination. Toys that enable children to mimic what they see their parents and other adults doing are also great for this age because it helps children to mature. That’s why children at this age love toy kitchens, toy construction kits and role-playing, and dress-up games. Great gifts for this age are any toys that can enable the child to explore their creativity and let their imagination run wild.
4. A Toy that is Not Aged Appropriate Could Be Potentially Dangerous
There are reasons why you will often see “Not suitable for children under 5” on toy boxes and one of the most important is that age-inappropriate toys can be dangerous. As explained above, babies and toddlers experience the world through their senses and one of the most fundamental senses in a baby’s life is the taste. Any toy that is small enough for a baby to put in their mouth could choke the baby if they swallow it or do other harm inside their body. Toys with small parts or toys that can be disassembled are also potentially dangerous because while the toy itself may be too big for a baby to put in its mouth, a part could detach or snap off and the baby could choke on that.
There are so many great benefits that children can get from playing with toys. The best toys help children to develop the skills, coordination, and cognitive abilities that they need to grow. Make sure when you are buying a gift for a child that it is age-appropriate to ensure that the toy is providing the right benefit for the child at that stage of their development. If in doubt, look at the age recommendation on the box or search online for more information.