What toy to buy for what age?
> Birth to 12 months
In theory: from birth to 12 months, babies develop in their own special way. Their 5 senses help them to discover the world around them. They cleverly observe, nibble and grab at things they come across. "Look for toys that encourage them to explore and use their hands," advises our expert.
In practice: go for toys and items that they can touch as well as games with sounds such as rattles, playmats, play gyms, books with sound effects and things to touch, etc.
> 1 year and upwards
In theory: Your child is now starting to walk and there is a whole new world of possibilities opening up to him or her. So what type of toy to go for? According to our expert, there isn't really one type of toy that's suited to a specific age: "All types of toys can be suitable for children over the age of one". He notes that there's a trend, however, in all age brackets, for more imaginative toys rather than imitations of 'grown up' objects: "For the last 20 years or so, toys have been getting less imitative. The world of imagination is seen as more important."
In practice: choose a toy for child's stage of development.
- 1 year old: your child is walking and exploring the world, so walkers and toys to pull along are ideal. Check the label or box for age recommendations and you'll find all sorts of toys from building blocks to music games.
- 3 years old: your child may have started pre-school and will have made a lot of progress in terms of concentration and use of imagination. Building games, dressing up outfits, dolls, garages and circuits will all appeal to them.
- 6 years+: your child will start learning to read and taking part in other educational activities. Other areas of exploration open up. Creative activities, video games, beautiful books and detailed toys will keep them amused.
- Toys for all ages: building games like Lego and Playmobil, Barbie dolls, racing circuits and dressing up outfits never lose their appeal.