Age Appropriate Toys: Recommendations & Guidelines

BY: | Jan 25, 2018

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Shopping for baby toys can be nostalgic and bring out your inner child. However, children's toys are not "one size fits all." You wouldn't give a newborn a bicycle just like you wouldn't give an eight-year-old kid a rattle. Kids learn and develop different skills and interests throughout various stages of development. Each toy needs to match up to your child's age, interest, and skill set.

Buying toys by age is also crucial to the safety and well-being of your child. Various toys contain parts that can be hazardous when given to children outside the recommended child age range. Here are some guidelines to buying age appropriate toys.

AGE RANGE HOW THEY PLAY TOP TOYS EXAMPLES WHAT TO AVOID
0-6 months Babies only 0-6 months old still have fuzzy vision but can fixate on things that are 8-15 inches from their faces. High colors, sound, and objects that move will captivate them most. brightly colored and multi-patterned crib mobiles, textured rattles, colorful but washable stuffed animals, unbreakable mirrors crib mobile, rattle, interactive bouncer Sharp-edged toys; small objects and toys with small parts that kids can swallow; stuffed animals with loosely sewn parts
7-12 months Babies 7-12 months old are more interactive through laughing, babbling, sitting, rolling, crawling, pulling to stand at furniture, and maybe even taking first steps. action/reaction toys, stacking, sorting, and building toys, toys that encourage movement stacking toy, baby ball, teether Sharp-edged toys; small objects and toys with small parts that kids can swallow; stuffed animals with loosely sewn parts
1-2 years Toddlers at this age have a lot of energy and are eager to explore. They like to touch and hold everything they can get their hands on. cause and effect toys, toys that play music, toys that encourage muscle use, responsive toys, easy-to-follow board books and songs toy phone, maracas, rubber ducks for bath time Sharp-edged toys; small objects and toys with small parts that kids can swallow; stuffed animals with loosely sewn parts
2-3 years Toddlers in the 2-3 year range have improved motor skills and imaginations. They will also start to imitate the actions of the people around them. toys that encourage creative thinking and pretend play, dollhouses and themed play sets, toys designed for physical play that help with coordination and balance building blocks, ice cream cone playset, personalized book Sharp-edged toys; small objects and toys with small parts that kids can swallow; stuffed animals with loosely sewn parts
4-5 years Children 4-5 years have increased learning ability that makes your child want to play with more interactive, educational toys. battery-powered ride-on toys, arts and supplies, puzzles with more complexity, electronic toys, action figures and dolls, educational toys tricycle, tablet, Legos, Barbie dreamhouse, Sharp-edged objects like scissors, electrical toys, and remote-control toys operated without adult supervision
6-7 years Between 6-7 years old, kids are developing their own personal interests and like to play games with friends. electronic games, multiplayer games, craft and science kits, video games, sports equipment video game, clay kit, toy soccer ball Battery-operated toys should have battery cases that secure with screws so that kids cannot pry them open. 
8+ Kids ages 8 and up enjoy outdoor activities and lots of movement most. They'll start to develop adult-like interests, abilities, and hobbies. computer and video games, craft kits, more advanced science kits, outdoor sporting equipment Monopoly Junior, jewelry making kit, science learning kits Always include helmets and recommended safety gear,  and the proper sports' protection equipment.

 

TOY CATEGORY AGE RANGE
Dollhouses and large doll furniture 3+ years
Dolls and action figures 3/4+ years
Toy trucks 5+ years
Plush dolls 1+ years
Play sand and Play-Doh 3+ years
Easels 3+ years
Crayons, coloring books, and kids' paint 2+ years
Interactive toy tablets and smartphones 2+ years
Teaching tablets/electronics 6+ years
Kids' digital cameras 3+ years
4D puzzles 5+ years
Oversized blocks 3+ years
Small blocks and complicated building sets/models 6+ years
Train and car tracks/sets (non-electric) 3+ years
Kitchens and other household-themed play sets 3+ years
Food 3+ years
Tools and workbenches 3+ years
Money 3+ years
Cookware and cleaning products 3+ years
Dress-up clothes 3-4 years
Ride-ons and motorbikes 3-7 years
Wagons 3+ years
Wide-platform or three-wheeled scooters 2-3 years
Scooters 5+ years
Rockers 2+ years
Feet-propelled ride-ons 1-2 years
Remote-controlled cars, drones, and planes 8+ years
Interactive and remote-controlled animals 6+ years
Toy guns/blasters/crossbows 6+ years
Tunnels and tents 3+ years

Disclaimer: These age recommendations are approximate guidelines only. Check the specific packaging for manufacturer age recommendations.