Basic Principles to be followed while Selecting Toys
Below the Age of 3 Months:
At one month, a child enjoys watching a moving object with bright and different colors within a distance of about 30 cms (12 inches). So a mobile toy to be hung above her crib is an investment worth making. Some of these toys also play music.
After she crosses the 3-month mark, the same mobile can be hung up elsewhere. Music from a tape recorder or a music box may also be played, but make sure it is soft.
Between 3 to 6 Months:
A child likes to look into a mirror at this age. She loves music. You can now let her handle a rattle. Light, plastic rattles with rather big ends are preferable to expensive silver rattles with smaller ends. Colorful posters and soft toys are added attractions.
Between 6 to 12 Months:
While your baby will still show interest in her older toys, now is also the time for floating toys, wooden blocks, magazines and cardboard books with bright pictures, balls, squeeze toys, a spoon and a cup or a saucepan, cars, buses and trucks, push along toys, a rubber hammer and a toy telephone. At this age, children also love to play 'Peek-a-boo' with older people.
Between 1 to 2 years:
Hardbound picture books with stories, blocks, wooden animals, dolls, teddy bears, buckets and spades, vehicles, simple jigsaw puzzles, bottles and boxes of different sizes are popular with children in this age group.
Between 2 to 3 years:
Crayons and papers, plasticine, a handbag, toy cooker or a tea set, large wooden beads to strings, playing with sand, playing ball with others and riding a tricycle interest children. At this age, they like to build castles in the sand, dress up dolls and pour water into containers.
Between 3 to 4 years:
To the fleet of vehicles may now be added an ambulance, fire engine, airplanes and scooter. Model animals, garden tools, a rope ladder, masks, a model village or a housing colony would interest the child. An easel may be given to a child who shows an interest in colouring.
At this age, children exhibit a vivid imagination. They will imagine the presence of people who are not around. They may like to play at being mummy and daddy, or doctor and patient.
Between 4 to 5 years:
Table games with dice (Ludo and snakes and ladders), and carom start interesting the child. Give them material to draw and paint. Allow them to have scissors with round edges and old newspapers to cut. Let them make models of chairs or tables with plasticine or play dough.
Between 5 to 6 years:
Spinning toys are favorites at this age. A skipping rope may also be introduced. A child can be given a thick needle and thread.
Source: Book - Guide to Child Care by Dr R K Anand
To consult Dr R K Anand in person, click here