A rule of thumb: Less is more.
The less a toy does, the more opportunity a child has to create and learn from it. Simple toys are easier for children to use, need less supervision and can last longer.
Toys should match a child’s developmental level and age. Toys should be clean and have no sharp corners or small, detachable parts. They should also not contain unsafe, toxic or flammable materials.
To survive a child’s repeated handling, a toy must be made of stable and solid materials.
Easy to Use
A child must be able to work a toy by himself / herself to enjoy it. Generally, simple toys are the easiest to operate.
A child should find a toy fun to play with now and as he / she grows. Look for toys that a child can play with in many ways.
Play teaches a child to think, create and imagine. Choose toys that allow for pretending, role-playing, problem-solving and practicing skills.
Children learn important social skills by playing with other children. By playing socially, they become familiar with cooperation, negotiation and compromise.
Choose age-appropriate toys
Children enjoy toys that they can master and that are right for their particular stage of development. Here are some suggestions for the types of toys kids benefit from most as they go through different stages:
For infants: Rattles, Busy Boxes, Stacking Toys, Shape Sorters, Soft Baby Dolls, Board Books .
For toddlers: Balls, Push And Pull Toys, Stuffed Animals, Crayons, Play Dough, Simple Puzzles .
For preschoolers: Dolls, Rubber or Plastic Animals, Vehicles, Blocks, Art Materials, Balls.
For school age children: Board Games, Construction Sets, Doll House, Roller Skates, Puppets, Art Materials.