Children-playing-with-toys_1398-49911

Play is a natural activity for every young child. Play provides many opportunities for children to learn and growp-hysically, mentally and socially. If play is the child’s work then toys are the child’s tools, and appropriate toys can help children do their work well. Young children explore objects in their envi- ronment by “mouthing” them. Children can choke to death on such items. These items include toys (such as balloons and small balls), and household and food items (such as hot dogs, peanuts, pop- corn, coins, batteries, etc.). Although toys intend- ed for young children should be free of small parts that could cause a choking incident, toys intended for older children may find their way into the hands of younger children.

A parent or friend choosing a toy for a child must consider several things.

A good toy should be:

  • safe for that child’s age, well constructed, and durable;
  • appealing and interesting to the child; suited to the child’s physical capabilities; and
  • suited to the child’s mental and social development.

 

PHYSICAL:

  • runs, jumps, climbs, balances with assurance by 5, gross motor skills are well developed.
  • likes risks, tests of physical strength and skill loves acrobatics and outdoor equipment.
  • increasing finger control can pick up small objects, cut on a line with scissors, hold pencil in adult grasp, string small beads. (Most children in this age group can begin using toys with smaller components. If child is still mouthing objects, select toys without small parts.)
  • expert builder loves small construction materials and also vigorous activity with big blocks, large construction materials. by 5, rudimentary interest in ball games with simple rules and scoring.

MENTAL:

  • familiar with common shapes, primary colors.
  • interest in simple number activities, alphabet play, copying letters, matching/sorting.
  • by 5, sorts and matches using more than one quality at a time
  • around 4, begins to be purposeful and goal- directed, to make use of a plan.
  • interest in producing designs, including puz- zles, and in constructing play worlds.
  • first representational pictures.
  • prefers realism.
  • interest in nature, science, animals, time, how things work. peak interest in dramatic play – recreates adult occupations, uses costumes and props.

SOCIAL:

  • beginning to share and take turns; learning concept of fair play.
  • by 5, play is cooperative, practical, con- forming. interested in group pretend play.
  • not ready for competitive play because hates to lose.
  • enjoys simple board games based on chance, not strategy.
  • more sex differentiation in play roles, in- terests.
  • enjoys looking at books and listening to stories from books

ALL TOYS (a general category orienting the con- sumer to special features of toys that are relevant to the particular age group).

 

ACTIVE PLAY

Push and Pull Toys

Ride-On Toys

Outdoor and Gym Equipment

Sports Equipment

MANIPULATIVE PLAY

Construction Toys

Puzzles

Pattern-Making Toys

Manipulative Toys

Dressing, Lacing and Stringing Toys

Sand and Water Play Toys

MAKE-BELIEVE PLAY

Dolls

Stuffed Toys

PuppetsRole Play Materials

Play Scenes

Transportation Toys

Projectile Toys

CREATIVE PLAY

Musical Instruments

Art and Craft Materials

Audio-Visual Equipment

LEARNING PLAY

Games Specific Skill

Development Toys

Books

All toys:

  • Preschoolers prefer toys with realistic detail and working parts.
  • Increasing interest in dramatic and pretend play, by age 5, peak period for dramatic play, with all sorts of props. Period of peak interest in puppet play,
  • Increasing construction activity, often with plan or goal.
  • Period of peak interest in play scenes, small figures and cars.
  • Most children in this age group can begin using toys with smaller components. If child is still mouthing objects select toys without small parts.
  • Toys should be sturdy:
  • not likely to break easily into small pieces or leave jagged edges
  • no sharp points or edges.
  • not made of glass or brittle plastic.
  • Toys should be of nontoxic materials
  • Toys should have no electrical parts unless supervised by adult.
Playing with toys
Playing with toys

ACTIVE PLAY

Push and Pull Toys

  • small wagons.
  • small wheelbarrow, push toys resembling adult tools lawnmowers, vacuum, shopping cart.
  • doll carriages and strollers.

from age 5:

  • full-size wagons, scooters.

Ride-On Toys

  • tricycles sized to child.
  • 3- and 4-wheel pedal toys.
  • vehicles with steering mechanisms.
  • prefer realistic; detailed vehicles.
  • full-size rocking horse.

from age 4:

  • low-slung tricycles.
  • battery-operated ride-ons.

from age 5:

  • small bicycle with training wheels and footbrakes, sized to child.
  • bicycle helmet.

Outdoor and Gym Euipment

  • adult supervision recommended for gym equipment.
  • stationary outdoor climbing equipment.
  • slides (with siderails) and ladders.
  • swings with curved, soft seats.
  • balance board.

from age 4:

  • equipment with movable parts: small seesaws, hanging rings.
  • swings with flat seats, plastic or rubber belts
  • rope ladders and ropes.
  • gym sets with enclosures for pretend house or fort.

Sports Equipment

  • balls of all shapes, sizes (If child is still mouthing objects, any object that appears to fit easily in the child’s mouth, keep it away from the child.)
  • double-blade ice skates.
  • sleds size-graded (no handbrakes or steering mechanisms).

from age 4;

  • lightweight soft baseball and bat. junior-sized soccer ball, football.
  • speed-graded roller skates (plastic wheels, no ball bearings for reduced speed).
  • kites.
  • wading pool.

from age 5:

  • jump ropes.
  • skis (sized to child).
  • flying disks (especially lightweight ones).
  • flat nosed magnetic or Velcro darts.
  • inner tubes, kickboards, mattresses for beginning swimmers (adult supervision needed)

 

Playing with blocks
Playing with blocks

MANIPULATIVE PLAY

Construction Toys

  • solid wood unit blocks large and small.
  • large hollow blocks.
  • most types of interlocking building sys- tems, pieces of all sizes (plastic rather than metal, pieces).
  • no motorized parts.
  • prefer sets that make realistic models.
  • can connect pieces in specific order to create simple models.

Puzzles

  • fit-in or framed puzzles: age 3, up to 20 pieces; age 4, 20-30 pieces; age 5, up to 50 pieces.
  • large, simple jigsaw puzzles (10-25 pieces).
  • number or letter puzzles;’ puzzle clocks
  • cardboard puzzles.
  • bead stringing – longer, thinner string with stiff tip), large beads. (If child is still mouthing objects, any object that appears to fit easily in the child’s mouth should be kept away from the child.)
  • peg board with small pegs.
  • color cubes/color forms.
  • magnetic boards with shapes

from age 4:

  • beginning interest in design materials – mosaic blocks, felt boards; can follow, copy simple sequence

from age 5:

  • simple weaving (looper & heddle loom); small beads to string (1/2 in.); block printing equipment.

Manipulative Toys

  • matching toys by color, shape, or picture: from age 4, by concept, letters (ABC), numbers (1-10). sorting toys; number rods
  • number boards with smaller pegs.
  • simple counting toys; lock boxes.
  • nesting toys with multiple pieces and screw closing.

from age 4:

    • geometrical concept toys.

from age 5:

  • simple models of mechanical devices or natural objects; more complex lotto matching toys.

Dressing, Lacing Stringing Toys jump ropes. frames/cards to button, hook, tie.

from age 5:

  • simple sewing kits with thick cloth & blunt.
  • needle (with supervision).

Sand and Water Play Toys

  • large and small sandbox tools; bubbles
  • wind-up bath toys; bath activity centers.

from age 4:

  • sand molds; water pump.
  • realistic working models of boats (no sharp metal parts).
  • pool toys (tubes, mats) with adult supervision.
Birthday present, doll
Birthday present, doll

MAKE-BELIEVE PLAY

Dolls

  • realistic dolls with detail and accesso- ries, especially baby dolls.
  • dolls with hair, moving eyes, movable limbs, special features.

from age 5:

  • child-proportioned dolls (can dress dolls if garments and fastenings are simple).
  • paper dolls to be punched out.

Stuffed Toys

  • stuffed toys with accessories rib- bons.
  • bells, simple clothes. realistic-looking toys.
  • replicas of fa- mous characters.
  • music box toys.

from age 5:

  • collecting toys in sets.

Puppets

  • simple sock or mitten puppets.
  • finger puppets.
  • simple puppet theater (no scenery).

from age 5:

  • hand-and-arm puppets.
  • more detailed puppets: puppets with limbs.

Role-Play Materials

  • dress-ups, costumes of all types.
  • realistic, detailed equipment by 5. want it to really work.
  • housekeeping and cooking equipment.
  • toy telephone: toy camera; doctor kits
  • military costumes and props
  • specialized doll equipment
  • cash register, equipment to play store
  • play stages; large mirror.

Play Scenes

  • scenes with a variety of realistic acces- sories and working parts.
  • favorite themes – garage, farm, airport, space. fort.
  • action/adventure sets; action figures.
  • first doll house – simple, few rooms:easy access, space to move objects around, sturdy furnishings.

from age 5:

  • can manipulate very small pieces; atten- tion to realistic detail.

Transportation Toys

  • toy cars of all sizes – small metal cars, trucks with very realistic detail.
  • large-scale trucks, road machinery that really works (dumps, digs).
  • action/adventure vehicle sets.
  • small, realistic trains.

from age 5:

  • small trains with tracks; can work most train coupling systems; can plan, build¬† simple track layouts; wind-up and spring-driven cars.

Projectile Toysnone before age 4

  • soft, flexible projectiles.
  • action figures with projectile weapons. from age 5: guns shooting ping-pong or foam balls. soft darts.

 

The child plays the piano
The child plays the piano

CREATIVE PLAY (arts, crafts, music)

Musical Instruments

  • all rhythm instruments.
  • xylophones.
  • instruments that require blowing har- monica, horns, whistles, simple recorder.
  • wind-up music boxes.
  • piano one-finger tunes.

Art and Craft Materials

from age 3:

  • large crayons with many colors.
  • color paddles. magic markers.
  • finger and tempera paint.
  • adjustable easel.
  • brushes of various sizes.
  • clay, including modeling clay and tools.
  • chalkboards and chalk of various sizes.
  • scissors with rounded ends.
  • paste and glue.
  • simple block printing equipment.
  • pop-it beads.
  • large beads to string.
  • simple sewing kits (without needles) until age 5.

from age 4:

  • increased interest in art products: also, can copy order.
  • workbench. hammer, nails. and saw (with supervision).

from age 5:

  • smaller crayons: coloring books: water- color-paints: simple weaving loom.
  • small beads to string: sewing kits with large. blunt needles.

Audio-Visual Equipment

  • hand-cranked music boxes.
  • parent-operated record, tape and CD player

from age 4:

  • record and tape players for child to operate.
  • simple video games

 

The boys are reading the book
The boys are reading the book

LEARNING PLAY

Games

  • dominoes (color or number).
  • simple matching and lotto games based on color, pictures.
  • simple card games.
  • bingo (picture).

from age 4:

  • first board games, based completely on chancegames should have few rules, simple scoring, no reading required beyond ABC, only a few pieces.
  • games requiring simple fine motor coordination (picking up or balancing objects).

Specific Skills Development Toys simple electronic and other teaching toys for:

  • matching/sorting.
  • shapes, colors:
  • numbers and letters.

from age 4:

  • simple computer programs for teaching color matching, letters. classification, numbers, sounds.
  • simple science models.

from age 5:

  • science materials – magnets, flashlight shells and rocks, magnifying glass, stethoscope, prism, aquarium, terrarium.
  • clock.
  • printing set.
  • toy typ ewriter or com puter.
  • simple calculator.
  • computer programs to teach simple programming

Books

  • picture books, simple stories, rhymes.
  • complex pop-up books.
  • like complex illustrations with an abun – dance of detail.

age 3 interests:

  • here-and-now stories
  • animal stories.
  • alphabet books.
  • words and rhymes.

age 4 interests:

  • wild stories, silly humor
  • information books.
  • familiar places, people

age 5 interests:

  • realistic stories./li>
  • poetry.
  • animals who behave like people.

 

Read about:

*Choosing the right toys for your child

*Toys for older Toddlers – 2 year old

*Toys for primary school age 6,7 and 8 years

*Checklist for Toy Shopping

* Toy safety

Source:

Which Toy For Which Child, Dr Barbara Goodson, Dr Martha Bronson, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC)

Written by

Irena Canji

I am a teacher in kindergarten. I have been working with children aged from three to seven since 2000. Also, I am a mother of two kids. My son is a teenager and my daughter is going to kindergarten. My main goal through the website is to show that the process is more important than the product. In childhood, kids need to play, have fun, learn through their experience.

The content of this website is an interesting activity for children. You don't need special skills, lots of money or too much preparing.

Just smile, only positive energy, and goodwill!