You know your child better than we do, so it can be a little tricky for us to recommend super-specific toys by age group. When you see the age group listed on a toy package, it’s always more of a general suggestion than a specific limitation. Some kids may excel when it comes to mathematics and motor skills, preferring complex building toys at a young age, while staying at about the same pace as everyone else when it comes to reading and writing. Others may already be into chapter books, but not quite ready for the trickier Lego kits.

The toy age groups are a good enough guide to select toys for say, a niece or nephew, if you’re not really sure where they’re at developmentally, but for parents, they’re more of a loose guideline. So with that in mind, we hope the following will help you to understand what those age-group ratings really mean…

For starters, though, 0-12 months and 1-2 years really should be strictly followed for the most part. For infants, there are only so many toys that are actually completely safe for the child in the first place. Your baby may be a genius, but if you think your little Einstein is ready for Play-Doh, you’d better be ready to change some rainbow coloured diapers this week.

For the 3-4 age range, toys are generally a lot simpler for the most part than the one’s they’ll be interested in in the next year or two. Children at this age are still grasping the basic motor skills, so let them catch up on all that before you start handing them The Great Gatsby or anything. At this point, it’s all about physical development and coordination. Readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmetic come a little later.

From 5-7, it gets a little trickier to nail it down. Some kids are already reading chapter books by the time they’re seven years old, while others are just now learning the alphabet. In general though, this is the age range where reading and basic mathematics first really come into play. Any toy with numbered or lettered buttons is a great choice around this time.

Eight and up… it’s getting harder and harder to categorize kids by age when it comes to developmental toys. Gauge your own child’s level of education, their interests, their curiosities, and provide them with something challenging.

In fact, that’s probably the basic idea you should hold in mind when shopping for educational toys. Always be looking for something just a bit more challenging than your kid has already proven able to handle. A kid who loves Duplo blocks might be ready for Lego and Mega Bloks. A kid who likes children’s books might be ready or his first chapter book. You always want to be offering some degree of challenge, because that’s where learning really comes from. If there’s no challenge, it’s boring, and it won’t hold the child’s interest long enough for them to learn anything from it (not that it has anything new to teach them anyways).

One thing worth noting, those Leapfrog activity books. They’re recommended for ages 3-4 and 5-7. Three is too young for most kids to start reading, but the books also provide full colour illustrations and they’re electronically interactive toys, so they really offer a lot for all ages. You might even catch yourself playing with it sometime.

Yogee.com.au is a leading Australian online toy store. Visit yogee.com.au for a wide selection of Kids Toys at discounted prices. To save money on your next purchase, please visit Toys Online.


Related Toddlers Educational Toy Post

Tagged with:

Filed under: Developmental Toys