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Guide: Which Toys Should We Buy Kids by Age

Children love toys, but as parents, when we purchase toys for them, we want to ensure they will play with them for a long time and not get bored after a day. Additionally, it's important that the toy is not only fun but also aids in the child's development and is age-appropriate. While age recommendations are listed on toy packaging, they do not always match the reality or individual development of each child. So, whether you want to buy toys for your children that will truly be worthwhile and suitable for them, or you are looking for a gift for another child and want to make sure it will be used and beneficial, here is our guide to buying children's gifts by age.



Toys for Infants – Ages 0-12 Month

In the first three months, the baby can only look at their surroundings, and since their vision is blurred, they see bright colors and items with bold patterns better. "The toys don’t have to be black and white as long as there is a sharp contrast between the colors," says Dr. Nora Newcombe, a developmental psychologist at Temple University in Philadelphia.

As the baby grows, they will need more toys that stimulate their other senses. Many toys encourage interaction, like toys that make sounds when pressed or shaken, or those with textured bumps in different formations. Soft dolls that can be cuddled are also good. Babies at this age often put their toys in their mouths and love teethers that help them deal with the pain of growing teeth.

baby with toys

Recommended Toys:

  • Mobiles with different patterns and bright colors
  • Rattles
  • Simple, unbreakable mirrors
  • Activity mats (gyms)
  • Activity boards
  • Soft dolls with smiling faces (preferably colorful and washable)
  • Small, soft fabric balls

Toys for One-Year-Olds

"At one year old, children are fascinated by anything that has a cause and effect, and they enjoy playing with toys that react to their actions and help them sharpen their motor skills," says Dr. Robin Goodman, a clinical psychologist from New York. Such toys can sometimes come in two parts, like a hammer used to activate the toy or to hit a toy that produces sounds.
Some toys for this age group recite the names of letters, shapes, or numbers when buttons are pressed, but at this age, the baby is still too young to learn all of these. However, babies still enjoy the interaction with these toys because they make sounds and expose them to language and words, which is certainly beneficial.
girl toddler with toy

Recommended Toys:

  • Ring stacking toys
  • Stacking cups
  • Toys that make noises or have pop-up figures
  • Push/pull toys
  • Durable musical instruments that are easy to use (drums, xylophone, tambourine)
  • Shape sorter toys
  • Large toy cars (possibly with figures that ride them)
  • 4-5 piece puzzles
  • Bath toys (rubber ducks or sponge toys)

Toys for Toddlers Ages 2-3

At this age, children begin to look for more purpose in their games and have the motor skills needed to complete simple puzzles or build block towers. They start enjoying pretend play and mimic the behavior of people around them, so more advanced, sound-making technological toys are now suitable for them.

They will likely still enjoy the toys they liked at one year old, and if you’re looking for a wonderful gift that can keep a child active outside, now is the time to get a ride-on toy. It’s important to ensure that both of the child's feet can be on the ground at all times when riding such a toy.

Recommended Toys:
  • Pretend play toys (mobile phone, tea set, kitchen, baby stroller
  • Talking dolls (and those that don’t talk)
  • Tricycle or ride-on toy
  • Toy piano
  • Early childhood puzzles (less than 20 pieces)
  • Building sets (large Lego, magnets, etc.

Toys for Children Ages 4-5

At this age, children go through a giant leap in learning abilities, making it a good time to introduce them to educational toys and games that teach language skills and even math, including apps for learning to read and write.
"Choose toys that give positive feedback to the child, like 'Good job, let's try again,' instead of those that give negative feedback or beep when the child makes a mistake," recommends Marina Sazimanski, founder of the ToyTips website, which conducts tests and reviews of children's toys. At this age, children also love to imagine they are other people, such as their teachers, characters from movies, professionals, fairy tale characters, and more, so any toy that encourages this is also welcome.
child in doctor's costume

Recommended Toys:

  • Art supplies (craft kits, play dough, etc.)
  • Electronic toys
  • Building sets (Lego, magnets, etc.)
  • More complex puzzles (up to 48 pieces)
  • Action figures (action figures, Barbie, etc.)
  • Costumes
  • Toy cars and related play sets like car parks
  • Board games that do not require reading or complicated rules (Snakes and Ladders, Hungry Hippos, etc.)
  • Balls (soccer ball, basketball, etc.)


Toys for Children Ages 6-7

At this age, children start developing their own interests but are still heavily influenced by their parents, teachers, and classmates. Some children love to conduct scientific experiments at this age (with help, of course), while others are drawn to arts and crafts, jewelry making, or playing with dolls. Friends become more important to them, and they might start asking for trendy toys they’ve seen others have just because "everyone has one."
They also start enjoying video games and sports games, construction games, and board games they can play with friends. Many are also drawn to toys that help them create music, though they may still struggle to play real musical instruments.
child playing with toys

Recommended Toys:

  • Basic science kits
  • Slime
  • Toys that encourage curiosity (magnifying glass, telescope)
  • Art and craft supplies
  • Gaming consoles/games for consoles (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, or Xbox)
  • Tablet
  • Sports equipment
  • Remote control car
  • Action figures (action figures, Barbie, etc.)
  • Building sets (Lego, magnets, etc.)
  • Games that require strategic thinking (checkers, Jenga, even chess)
  • Bike with training wheels or a small scooter (with parental approval)

Toys for Children Ages 8 and Up

Even before this age, but especially now and later, children love playing outside and riding a scooter, bike, or rollerblades. At the same time, they start developing "adult hobbies," like collecting certain types of items. They usually enjoy crafts and all kinds of competitive games.
"At these ages, children love any activity that exposes them to mystery and gives them a sense of competence," says Sazimanski. "Through video games, they can challenge themselves to score more points than they did before, and they also enjoy competing with their friends – you’ll hear a lot of 'I got X points, how many did you get?'". They can also handle long-term projects that take several days to complete, so it’s worth considering this as well.
kids playing with toys

Recommended Toys:

  • Complex science kits
  • Magic kits
  • Model building kits
  • Craft kits
  • Gaming consoles/games for consoles (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, or Xbox)
  • Sports equipment
  • Slime
  • More complex board games (Monopoly, Scrabble, etc.)
  • Bike without training wheels or scooter (with parental approval)
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