The Right Toys and Games For Little Ones

shutterstock_ Feb22nd 2016

Children learn through active exploration and play. You can choose theright toys to facilitate your child’s learning and development in ways thatare fun and motivating. When considering the right toy foryour child, think about the skills that challenge him and choose fun optionsthat will also help develop those skills.

Does your child need help with finemotor skills, gross motor skills, visual perception, eye-hand coordination,problem solving or maybe planning and sequencing? What are his languageabilities? Will the toy require multiple systems to be working together, for example: balance, eye-hand coordination and timing? Does your child like achallenge or is he easily frustrated? Be careful not to overreach. Toys andgames that are too much of a challenge will be avoided like the plague.But even if you choose a toy or game that is a little out of reach, you canmodify it so that your child experiences success.

Below are some toy and game suggestions for various ages. Be sure to askyour child’s occupational, physical or speech and language therapist if youhave any questions about what might be appropriate for your child’s skilllevel. Above all, enjoy play-time with your child. No toy on the planet canreplace the engagement and relationship-building that occurs when youand your child simply play together!

1-3 Months
Mobiles, unbreakable mirrors and activity centers for the crib,rattles, stuffed toys with black and white patterns, music boxes,large colorful rings.

4-6 Months
Squeaky toys, mouth toys, books made of cloth/vinyl, playingpeekaboo, tickleand singing.

7-9 Months
Stuffed animals, balls, nesting cups, pop-up toys, large dolls andpuppets, bath toys, pat-a-cake and other nursery rhyme play.

10-12 Months
Push and pull toys, ordinary household objects like containersand large spoons, stackable rings, playing simple ball games.

13-15 Months
Toy telephone, acrobatics, pushing a toy carriage/shopping cart,large building blocks, simple ride-on toys, movement gamesto song.

16-18 Months
Sandbox, simple musical instruments, large colored beads, jack-in-the-box, blowing bubbles, simple puzzles.

19-21 Months
Toys to take apart and put back together, digging toys, largecrayons, kiddie cars, water games, easy jigsaw puzzles, makingmud pies, playing tag or hide-and-seek.

22-24 Months
Kiddie lawn mowers, kitchen sets and other make-believe playsets, modeling clay, construction sets, action toys like trains,telephones, dump trucks and fire engines, tubes and containerswith lids.

2-3 Years
Beginner tricycle, mini trampoline, preschool roller skates, dollsand doll accessories, dress-up clothes, coloring books, easel,crayons and markers, music, swing sets, books, finger paint,mini-basketball hoop, woodworking bench.


If you would like help deciding which games ortoys are the best choices for your child and for more information on our pediatric programs, call us today!