How to Find the Best Toys According to Your Kid’s Age

Baby playing with toys

As parents, we play an important role in facilitating the way our children develop. We want to provide them with all the right tools to help them learn about the world and become the best versions of themselves. Part of this effort involves offering children the right toys and activities for their various age stages. From the early days of observing the world to the later years of exploring personal interests, each age group presents unique opportunities for play and learning. 

In this guide, we’ll explore toys for boys and girls that are designed to serve them in their specific developmental stages. This way, you can ensure that their playtime always fosters growth, curiosity, and joy.

Baby Toys (0-12 Months)

During the first part of a baby’s life, they’re only really able to observe their environments, but babies experience significant development during their first year. When they’re old enough to grasp objects in their hands, there are several toys they might enjoy interacting with. These include:

  • Mobiles
  • Floor gyms
  • Rattling toys
  • Soft stuffed toys
  • Organic baby toys (toys free from harmful chemicals)

While age-appropriate toys may benefit your baby during their first year, it’s important to note that, often, a baby’s favorite thing to interact with is their parents. Try to get in on the fun when you’re child is playing to help them stimulate their minds and have a great time learning.

Toys for 1-Year-Olds 

One-year-olds are a little more coordinated than younger babies, and as such, they’re able to interact with more advanced toys. Around this age, children are able to experiment with sizes, shapes, and space. Toys for one-year-olds may include:

  • Nesting toys
  • Shape sorters
  • Noise-making toys, like toy drums
  • Baby bath toys, like rubber ducks
  • Toy vehicles

Toddler Toys (2-3 Years)

3 year old boy playing with toy

Toddlers enjoy engaging in pretend play and exploring cause and effect. As such, appropriate toys for them will be more advanced than those designed for younger children. Your child now has the motor skills needed to try large-piece puzzles or play with building blocks. They’re using play to learn more about the world around them, so the toys they play with should help them make new discoveries. Some educational toys for toddlers may include:

  • Puzzles
  • Blocks
  • Non-toxic art supplies
  • Toddler-friendly dolls
  • Balance boards
  • Toddler books
  • Pedal toys, like a tricycle
  • Activity boards

Toys for Young Kids (4-5 Years)

Children of preschool and kindergarten age can engage in longer playtime sessions, as their attention spans are more developed than younger kids. This life stage is a very curious one, as 4 to 5-year-olds ask a lot of questions and want to experiment with their surroundings. Children at this age often want to socialize while they play as well, so shared toys may be a good idea. Some fun toys for young kids may include:

  • Crafting supplies (coloring books, crayons, etc.)
  • More complex puzzles
  • Interactive playsets, like pretend kitchens
  • Dolls
  • Action figures
  • Construction sets, like Legos
  • Simple board games
  • Costumes for dress-up games

Toys for Kids 6-7 Years

Two girls drawing

At this age, your child is fine-tuning the development of their hobbies and interests. Their play stages have advanced significantly, and they’re now mature enough to handle multi-step or multi-component games and toys. The early elementary school years might have some children pursuing an interest in art, while others like sports. Video games may be worth experimenting with for moderate screen time as well. Some toys that 6 and 7-year-olds might like include:

  • Arts & crafts kits
  • Video games
  • Science kits
  • Toys that play music
  • Sports equipment
  • Barbies
  • Strategy games
  • Remote-controlled cars

Toys for Kids 8 and Up

Older kids may be a little harder to shop for than their younger counterparts. During the middle elementary age, kids really start becoming their own person and their interests may vary significantly from others in their age groups. If you want to gift your older child with something they’ll really love, take a look at the hobbies they pursue. Ask about what they like doing and choose some cool toys from the categories they provide. Some options may include:

  • Strategy games
  • Story-telling games
  • More advanced board games
  • Age-appropriate building sets
  • Tablets
  • Video game systems

By understanding the evolving needs and interests of children at different ages, you can curate an enriching environment for play. Whether you’re encouraging a baby’s sensory development, a toddler’s pretend play, or the hobbies of older children, the right kids’ toys can be a stepping stone into a world of discovery. Take your time when shopping for age-appropriate toys. Research your options and consider what your child enjoys and you’ll surely bring home something that will provide them with endless opportunities for fun.

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