How to select a toy for your child

How to select a toy for your child

By Dolly Gupta, cofounder Rentoys.in

Right toys can accelerate a child’s learning curve

Early childhood experiences have a significant and lasting impact on children’s cognitive and social development. Increasing your child’s exposure to early learning can be accomplished through right toys -- toys that develop cognitive skill and allow them to play, experiment, and learn. Now, with thousands of toys available in the market, it is not an easy job to identify the right toys for your child.

Every child’s needs are different

Your child's current developmental stage plays a major role in the toy selection. Below is an amazing chart by Plan Toys that clearly portrays a child’s needs at different ages. Children achieve milestones across physical, intellectual, language, and social-emotional domains.

Child Development Stages Toys

Now, there is a probability that your child has already started demonstrating skill that is ahead of its time. Or, that your child is still trying to catch up. Both the cases are perfectly normal. Every child is unique and learn things in his/her own time. So, take a judgement call and choose the right toys for the right skills appropriate to your child’s developmental stage.

Right Toys for Right Skills

Block Play is classic constructive way to provide valuable learning for children of all ages. It instills a sense of wonder in children as they bring their imagination to life by creating, transforming, demolishing, and re-creating something unique. It enhances their fine motor skills, problem-solving abilities, and hand-eye coordination. Lego is a great example of block play. You can also find more creative and imaginative blocks like Tegu Magnetic blocks that can make play a wholesome experience for your child.

Pretend Play is cheerful imaginative play to help develop empathy and desire to know more. Your child learn from things around them and are always curious about activities you do in daily routine. Doctor Set, Kitchen Set, Picnic Set are just a few of the many toys to learn social-emotional and basic life skills with fun.

Active Play is any kind of physical activity your child do that involves stamina & energy. It makes sure your child dares to try more and more! When a child throw a ball or take a ride on tricycle, he/she learns about speed and power, and develops gross motor skills. For infants, Push-and-Pull toys and walkers aid in balancing and help in healthy development.

Creative Play is a beautiful form of self expression and boosts new ways of thinking in your child. Little kids are masters of the moment. They love the way it feels when they smear paint on paper. They wonder how it looks when they sprinkle glitter. They get excited by even the soft sound a brush makes as it crosses the page. Playdoh and other modeling activities allow kids to enjoy the process of creation with free use of their imagination.

STEM Toys: While classic toys will always play an important role in a child's development, STEM toys encourages them to develop science, technology, engineering and math skills as they engineer their imagination. Some STEM toys require the use of an app for playtime, others provide direct experience, offering all the benefits of traditional play. Osmo and Learning Resources toys are examples of respective cases.

So, when you stroll down the toy aisle next time, I hope you will feel prepared to select the right toy. Whether you plan to purchase a toy for your infant or toddler, find a toy that nurtures childhood development and elicits your child’s interest. All in all, consider the type of play experience that is best for you and your child before making your purchase.