Country Lane School
April 30, 2020
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Advice When Buying Toys

Author: Administrator
Although it might sound a bit strange, but buying toys in fact can be one of the most important things you do for your child. The reason for this is that playing with toys is essential when it comes to your child experiencing the joy of childhood. It is also one of the main ways in which a child learns about themselves, their surroundings and the people in their lives. This guide offers useful advice to parents looking to buy children's toys.

As children play they develop and learn new skills as well as interact with other people, their bodies also grow as a result. By playing with an array of toys the experience helps them to develop to their fullest potential.

What toys should you buy to help your child develop to their fullest potential?

The following section highlights some toys that are suitable for children of a specific age group. However, it is important to remember that all children are different and will therefore develop at different rates, with different interests.

Babies (Up to One Year):

It is widely agreed that babies need a mixture of toys. Since babies start to respond to the five senses smell, taste, sound, touch and sight it is recommended getting toys that provide the baby with opportunities to learn about size, shape, texture and how things work.

For safety reasons choose baby toys that:

> have pieces that are too large to swallow
> are lightweight for handling and grasping
> have no sharp edges or points
> are brightly coloured
> are non-toxic

Toddlers (One to Three Years):

A typical toddler will need toys that they can physically interact with, such as things to ride or climb on. Other toys such as inflatable balls, wading pools and digging tools are also all good choices to buy for toddlers that are between the ages of one and three.

At their second birthday toddlers usually begin to imitate the adult world. It is therefore acceptable to buy items such as child-sized furniture, kitchen equipment, dolls, musical instruments and simple puzzles to enjoy.

Pre-School (Three to Five Years):

Pre-school children are masters of pretend play, creating imaginary scenarios and dressing up in adult clothes. Therefore, toys such as pretend money, play food and miniature villages would all be worthwhile investments.

Other toys worth considering in would include outdoor toys such as a tricycle as well as a specific type of gym equipment, such as a skipping rope or child's punch bag.

School Age (Six to Nine Years):

Children of this age have now developed significantly and therefore will require a completely different set of toys. Some of the most common toys that school children enjoy include: board games, model aircrafts and table top sports as these all help to develop their skills for social and solitary play.

Toys that have a physical emphasis also are popular with the likes of scooters, roller skates and mountain bikes being at the top of their wish lists.

It is in this age bracket that video games start to appeal to children, teenagers and adults alike. Different games offer varying level of difficult and interest making them an ideal gift to buy as the child can choose the games they like to play. However, it is important when buying a video game to make sure that the child is suitable for the content displayed. All games should come with an advisory age level in order to guide parents when buying.

Nine to Twelve Years:

Children aged between nine and twelve start to begin to develop interests that they will keep with them throughout their lives. Therefore, it is recommended to nurture these interests during this time by buying toys such as, arts and crafts, magic sets, construction sets and chemistry and science kits.

With children taking part in weekly PE lessons sports is another area that will be of importance during this period. So any toys that relate to sport will be very popular. Other big interests will include computer games, music and television programs, all of which have a number of products to purchase.

Teenagers:

The final group of children are the teenagers. Teenagers are often regarded as the most difficult group of them all; however, there are still a number of toys that can satisfy their specific interests. These include; sophisticated computer games, board and adventure games, model cars and various sport equipment.

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