ABILITIES AND INTERESTS
Primary School Age 6, 7 and 8 Years
Through play children learn, grow up and develop physically, mentally and socially. Toys are a tool that should serve the proper development of a child. A good choice of a toy is a very important part of parenting because it is closely linked to children’s development.
- large muscle interests and abilities include: water sports, hopscotch, jumprope, roller skating, stunts and climbing (trees, trapeze), ice skating, riding bicycle, ball play (but most not ready for competitive team sports)
- small muscle interests and abilities include: simple sewing (can sew straight line), printing, braiding, drawing with pencils, cutting out paper dolls, simple carpentry (can saw straight line), weaving, string small beads, puzzles.
- will practice in target activities or to improve a skill.
- reading, spelling and printing activities and games.
- simple arithmetic activities and games, and in time, calendars, weights, value of coins.
- nature and in simple science activities and experiments.
- collecting things and in hobbies.
- the line between fantasy and realitylikes magic and “tricks”.
- producing finished products (art, models, crafts, sewing, carpentry)
- other times and other places.
- Special friends, clicks, gangs, secret languages and passwords enjoy a great interest in a group of colleagues and “belonging”.
- prefers to play with same sex peers.
- great increase in ability to play cooperatively with othersenjoys group activities.
- interest in “fair play” and living up to standards (own and group’s standards of excellence).
- continues interest in dramatic games (puppets, dolls, paper dolls, dress-ups, war games, cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers, space games) by age 8 increased interest in producing shows and plays.
- starting interest in the wider community.
- The child is primarily concerned with the goal, not the means or processes.
- Experimentation is becoming more “scientific”.
- A child less dependent on a particular subject for a concept.
- sort and classify using more than one criterion increasingly make use of reading, writing and simple arithmetic in games and toys.
- do simple sewing, weaving, braiding, ceramics, jewelry kitshas greatly in- creased fine motor control
- use simple mechanical toys (cars, trains).
Child is interested in:
- time and seasons and in toys marking wood time
- collections of things line between fantasy and reality (likes tricks and magic and disguise kits)
- paper line between fantasy and reality (likes cardboard tricks and magic and disguise kits)
- producing products in arts, crafts, woodworking etc.
- kits (science, craft, models) and can follow simple directions
- adult roles and likes realistic costumes and props for character play
- rudiments of sports and skill development
- Children show increasing variation in interest and abilities.
- Reading interests vary but child beginning to be able to use dictionary.
- Beginning of interest in giving “shows”.
- Great interest in “fairness” but hates to lose and will cheat to win in games.
- Toys should have no sharp points or edges.
- No electrical parts without adult supervision.
Push and Pull Toys
Outdoor and Gym Equipment
Pattern Making Toys
Dressing, Lacing, and Stringing Toys
Sand and Water Play Toys
CREATIVE PLAY (arts, crafts, music)
Art and Craft Materials
Specific Skill Development Toys
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)