Gift Buying Guide
Newborn to 12months old
- The first year of development, toys and experiences that stimulate the senses are essential to the developing brain. Babies like to look, listen, feel, smell and taste their toys so elements of texture, colour and sound are important. Toys that reward a baby's actions are also pleasing to this age group, they love seeing and hearing. By about 8 weeks, your baby is ready for rattles and teethers, cloth toys, soft squeeze balls, and musical and chime toys.
- Rattles offer opportunity for sensory exploration and reward the baby with sound as a result of their movements.
- Organic cotton & wooden teething toys are designed to be safe for a baby to chew and bite down on and assist to alleviate the gum discomfort they feel.
- Books are wonderful gifts for babies as they are born eager to absorb the language they hear all around them. Initially babies will grab at books and try to eat them but persevering with reading regularly to them will encourage a love of books, reading and language.
Toddlers 1-3 years old
The primary way that older babies and toddlers learn is through their own exploration of objects and environments. These children enjoy toys that provide for exploration with their hands
- During toddlerhood elements of pretend play also emerge with children imitating adult behaviour in their play.
- Simple building and construction toys cater to the child’s developmental need to explore with their hands.
- Well constructed walkers work to assist and guide the toddler as they learn to stand and walk.
- Shape sorters offer many opportunities for learning as toddlers match the correct shapes and manipulate each shape into place. They are also excellent ways to introduce learning about colour, shape and counting.
- Toddlers love playing with toys requiring a push and pull action.
- Trucks, trains and sit and ride-on toys are simply fascinating to their developing brains.
Remember, what he or she enjoys playing with at the moment - for example, if a 10-piece jigsaw is easy for your child to complete, try one with 20 or 25 pieces.
Pre Schoolers 3-5 years
- The preschooler learns by observing and imitating adults and through adult instruction and explanation. Role play continues to be an important way for children of this age to make sense of their world. Simple games reinforce the social elements of turn taking and cooperation, as well as thinking skills.- Preschoolers are much more confident physically and enjoy the challenges of manipulative toys such as construction sets, more complex puzzles, and beads and threading.
- Most preschoolers love exploring creative materials and are becoming more skilled at drawing and painting.
- Building and construction sets are wonderful toys due to their open ended nature. As well as developing fine motor skills, children using these materials are also imagining as their constructions evolve and problem solving as they face various building challenges.
- Jigsaw puzzles offer an opportunity for children to learn to problem solve through trial and error and perseverance. Preschoolers love the opportunity to demonstrate mastery once they have learnt to complete a puzzle and will be drawn to repeat the experience again and again.
Preschoolers love role play and dressing up. Balls are great for encouraging physical active play – throwing, catching, bouncing and kicking.