Blog about Proactive Parenting

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Christmas arrives, discover which toys are appropriate for each age.

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It’s nearing that special time of the year when children all around the world begin writing letters to Santa Claus with their Christmas wishes. It is also the time of year when parents begin to feel uncertain about which toys are appropriate for their children.

When it comes to buying gifts for children this Christmas, we must consider the most appropriate toys for each age

You might be having doubts about what toys are best for your child. You want to protect, care for, and see joy on your child’s face Christmas morning. The best way to do this is to follow the natural development of your child. By focusing on the developmental tasks that your child must master in order to move on to the next stage, you can protect the natural evolution of your baby, care for their unique process of development, and give them toys that support their development without creating frustration because the toy is too advanced or interferes with what should naturally happen.

By understanding what developmental tasks are important to your child at each age, you will be able to select the toys that are most appropriate to support your child’s happy and healthy growth.

My tips for to bay toys by ages

To help you feel more secure in choosing gifts this holiday season, I have put together a list of guidelines to help you select toys that are appropriate for the age and development of each of your children.

  • Young babies (0 - 6 months): Young babies enjoy toys that provide a sense of security, such as stuffed animals, soft dolls, or baby blankets. Additionally, play mats with hanging objects and bright colors help improve eye coordination and strength.
  • Older babies (6 - 12 months): Older babies will enjoy teething rings. Just before 6 months of age, babies will begin cutting their first teeth and teething rings provide comfort and help the new teeth erupt from the gums. Older babies also enjoy rattles that reward them with noise for their movements. Babies nearing 10 months can begin to play with blocks to improve control and coordination of their hands and arms.
  • Early Toddlers (18 - 24 months): At this age, toddlers are very active to perfect their motor skills. For this reason, asking Santa for an activity table would ideal. Activity tables with lots of buttons, levers, and pulls helps to integrate sensory information and coordination. And, if we want to convert them into music lovers, another great option are musical CDs with simple melodies and lyrics to encourage careful listening and movement. Together music can help develop language and memory.
  • Late Toddlers (24 - 36 months): They say that children learn through imitation, and that is precisely what late toddlers do. Therefore, parents can select toys that help their children pretend to be like the adults (e.g. moms, dads, grandparents) to support this developmental task. Examples can include play kitchens, play workbenches, play medical bags, or play school supplies. Toys of this nature will be used daily by late toddlers.
  • Preschool (3 - 5 years): Playing make-believe and being creative is key for preschoolers. They love to play dress up and pretend being professionals (such as doctors, police, or ballet dancers) or play make-believe characters (such as the star of their favorite movie or cartoon series). Additionally, magic games (always adapted for this age group and avoiding small pieces) or imagination games are well suited for preschoolers. Books without pictures can be introduced at this age to help improve imagination and language. And, simple board games are a great gift from Santa because they allow preschoolers to begin learning fairness and sportsmanship.
  • School age (5 - 8 years): School age children need to learn how to share and work together with others. For this reason, we can encourage them to ask Santa for board games to help them learn to follow rules, play fair, be a good sport, and enjoy competition. Along this same line, having school age children ask for sports equipment is a great idea. Participating in physical activity also supports the previous concepts as well as developing healthy lifestyle habits. To support physical activity, school age children can ask Santa for specialized sport clothing or equipment to help them have a happy and active Christmas holiday. Books without pictures and art supplies are also great gifts for these active learners.
  • Older children (9 – 12 years): As children grow they develop new skills that bring new concerns. Technology use is something that worries many parents of older children. Since older children have not yet developed abstract thought, they do not have the ability to anticipate or solve problems that may arise with technology use. Since tweens love everything online, tablets can be adapted to allow access to apps that are age appropriate to allow them to engage with technology. That said, parents must always monitor online activity to assure their safety.

There are also many gift options for tweens that are not related to technology. Board games are wonderful to help tweens learn how to strategize and reflect on their choices. Puzzles help them support the development of concentration, imagination and order. Construction toys, such as Legos, help them connect their creativity and spatial intelligence. And toys with sound, such as instruments or karaoke machines, are supportive of performance and creativity.

Whatever age or stage, you can be informed and make good decisions for your children to support their natural development and fit perfectly with their desires. Choosing the right toys will help your child develop in a healthy way while also being fun and enjoyable, which means your children will play and play with their Christmas gifts.

Tell us in the comments section, your experience matters a lot to us. Does your child play every day? How much time do you dedicate to the game daily? Do you play with many at the same time, or on the contrary, only one in particular attracts you? The one that attracts you, is bought, given or made by the same?


Copyright

© 2018 Deanna Marie Mason

 

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Monday, 10 December 2018

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Dr. Deanna Marie Mason

Calle Téllez, 26, 28007 Madrid
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