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  • Alison Wimmer

Toys for kids!

Updated: Sep 18, 2019


Toy Suggestions for Children 0-3 Years

Make sure toys you choose do not have sharp edges or parts that are very small. Check that toys are made of non-toxic materials.

If your child does these things (typically 0-6 months):

Responds to sounds, turns toward sounds, focuses on objects and faces, lifts head when lying on stomach, grasps toys, puts hands in mouth, plays with own fingers, smiles and laughs, etc.

Then these are good toys:

Ring toys, wrist rattles, brightly colored musical mobiles, face to watch, textured toys and soft stuffed animals to clutch and wave, easy squeak toys, brightly colored roly-poly toys, toys that move and make noise when child bats or kicks them, brightly colored socks to encourage kicking and pulling up feet to play with, crib gyms or toys safely suspended with links so baby can bat at them, lightweight colored rattles.

If your child does these things (typically 6-12 months):

Bangs and shakes toys, picks up toys and transfers from one hand to another, looks for a toy that has fallen, rolls, crawls or creeps, vocalizes to get attention, babbles, sits alone, pulls string to get a toy, pokes and points and turns toy over, uncovers a hidden toy, enjoys games and nursery rhymes, is beginning to imitate your clapping hands, waving bye, shaking head, etc.

Then these are good toys:

Pot lids to bang on, plastic cups, and spoons, measuring spoons, plexiglass mirror, busy box, pop-up-box, bath toys, nesting cups, squeak toys, you to talk back when he or she babbles, pull toys, music and nursery rhymes, pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo games, big ball, see through inflatable ball, safe objects to drop, throw and squeeze, paper to wave, books – “board” books with bright single pictures of animals, toys, food and books with textures to feel.

If your child does these things (typically 12-18 months):

Looks at pictures and turns pages of a book, imitates your actions, says a few words, dumps and fills containers, scribbles, stands up, holds on and walks, climbs up steps, takes things apart and tries to fit things together.

Then these are good toys:

Books with simple stories, shape sorters, toys and objects which come apart and fit together-pots with lids, simple, non-interlocking puzzles, popbeads, etc., pounding bench and hammer, nesting cups, a variety of different shaped containers to dump and fill, bath toys, push toys (popcorn popper), riding toys (to push and ride), Fisher-Price farm, house, etc., cardboard boxes to crawl into and walk around, cupboard and drawers to explore, rocking horse, sandbox and sand toys, toddler swing.

If your child does these things (typically 18-24 months):

Uses “tools” to solve problems, climbs on stool to reach, uses stick to reach, repeats words over heard in conversation, points to a few pictures of animals, uses sounds of animals, cars, machines, etc. in play, uses several words, begins to put two words together, likes messy play, imitates everyday activities-cooking, fixing things, talking on the telephone.

Then these are good toys:

Toy flashlight, shape sorters, nesting boxes, puzzles with a few pieces, containers with lids to screw off and on, large building blocks, books with simple stories-animal books, train, car, truck books, cars, trucks, buses etc., Fisher-Price house, barn, Main St., etc., toy tool kit, telephone, plastic pots, pans and spoons, tapes or records of children songs, Playdough, finger paints, sand, macaroni, cornmeal etc. to pour and sift through, toy vacuum, broom, rakes and shovels, small basket or purse, dolls, bottle, blanket, stuffed animal, ride on cars, horse, etc., large crayons and large paper balls, toy drum, cymbals, xylophone.

If your child is doing these things (typically 24-36 months):

Plays at simple make-believe activities, parent/baby, doctor, going shopping, his imaginary friend, scribbles and makes lines with crayon, begins to be possessive, likes to “read” books or retell stories, finds small detail in pictures, jumps, runs, hops, climbs, holds pencil with adult grasp.

Then these are good toys:

Toy stove, sink, fridge, toy dishes, dolls, doll bed, doll house, garden tools, large building blocks, duplo-type interlocking blocks, doctor kit, shopping cart and toy food, etc., dress up clothes, puppets small enough to fit child’s hand, crayons and paper, paint brushes, tempra paints and large paper, chalkboard and large chalk, stuffed animal friends, special place to put toys, cardboard box to make into a “house”, climbing toys, slide, ladder, etc., simple interlocking puzzles, children’s scissors, books about color size, books with rhymes, nursery rhymes, picture stories, books with one small detail hiding on every page, trips to the library, small tricycle, large beads to string.


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Alison and Matthew Wimmer

Developmental & Behavioral Consultants