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Best Kids Toys

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Kids toys are a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide. With dozens of manufacturers and literally thousands of different products, choosing the best kids toys can seem like a bit of a challenge. Many of the toys currently being marketed, while entertaining over the short term, do not provide any long-term benefits for a developing mind and body. Fortunately, there are some useful guidelines that parents can follow when trying to find the ideal toys for their child.

The first thing parents should realize about buying toys is that, in most cases, the toys are categorized by age group. Children develop in stages, and while not every child develops at the same rate, generalized age groups can be a good starting point. Toys are usually designed by keeping in mind the stage of development of the “average” child within a specified age group, but there are undoubtedly instances of overlap. It is up to the parents to decide where their child fits within these categories and adjust their purchasing options accordingly.

Newborn, or baby toys are designed for children under the age of one year. This is a very important stage of development, as children begin to explore their surroundings through sight and touch. This being the case, the best kids toys for children of this age are those that are visually stimulating. Mobiles and “activity gyms” are particularly popular items for this age group. These toys have been used for many generations because children find them fascinating and they have a proven track record of developmental benefits.

Toys for children ages one to three are most often placed within the toddler category. This is an age where children really become mobile and their world expands exponentially. Experts often recommend toys for this age group that encourage the development of both gross and fine motor skills, including basics like grasping, holding, turning, throwing, and anything else that allows them to explore the capabilities of their body. Balls and blocks are classic toddler toys, as are pop-up books and coloring supplies.

Preschool aged children are generally those considered to be between the ages of three and five years old. This is a very special time for children, as they first begin interacting with other children and people outside of their immediate family. They are learning to verbally communicate with others, while further expanding their horizons. Most experts suggest that the best kids toys for this particular age groups are those that encourage the development of basic social and language skills. Simple board games and puzzles are often recommended, as are toys that allow them to mimic the adults around them such as play kitchens and the like.

Understanding where your child is in the development process is vital to choosing the best kids toys. As was previously mentioned, when in doubt, the packaging will often state the recommended age for the toy. However, parents should take this with a grain of salt, as these guidelines are certainly not set in stone.