Kid’s these days seem to have thousands of toys. Ours are overflowing from cupboards, taking over the living room, stacked in the kid’s rooms and there are so many in the loft that I sometimes fear for the structural integrity of our house. Despite that, at each age, there have been only a few toys that they have actually played with after that “new toy high” has worn off. The rest, despite the kid’s having begged and pleaded for them get forgotten about within a week. So in an attempt to save you money and storage space, I’ve drawn on the collective wisdom of the Parent blogging community to find out which are the best toys for each age group.
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The Best Toys for Babies
While not strictly a toy, I always found the best way to entertain a baby is (carefully supervised) with a helium balloon. Tied loosely to their wrist so they can watch it move when they move, they are entertained for hours (ok, minutes, but that’s a long time for a baby).
The Best Toys for One Years Olds
Hayley from Mama in Progress suggests building blocks*. “They’re great because they help develop motor skills and help toddlers learn about shapes and balance. Plus they can be really creative with them – my now two year old still loves making different kinds of towers.”
Wooden posting toys* are a great suggestion from Candace who blogs at Buckets of Tea. “Great for motor skills and developing hand eye coordination. Also the blocks can be used for teaching colours and counting which can be started at this age. Wooden toys are better for the environment too .”
Hannah from The Saving Moving Mummy suggests the Melissa and Doug piano*. “It’s brilliant for helping them learn consequence and also help them interact via music.”
The Best Toys for Two Year Olds
Jade from Mummies Waiting says “Grimms Rainbow* is amazing. Not only are the colours great for that age, but it lasts for years too. It’s great for developing fine and gross motor skills, sorting objects and creating all kinds of things. Even at 6 and 4, my children still love to use it!”
Rebecca’s 3 year old twins love the Leapfrog Scoop & Learn Ice Cream Cart*. They got it for Christmas two years ago and it has been played with every day since, which makes it a bargain. It’s great for playing and learning!
The Best Toys for Three Year Olds
Nicola from Mummy to Dex suggests Brio*. “It’s fantastic because it encourages independent play and we find our son does a lot of role play when he’s engaged with it, creating stories and situations with the trains, cars and figures. It also is a fantastic way for him to develop his motor skills by learning to fix the pieces of track together while developing problem solving skills- eg: why won’t that piece fit there etc”
Playmobil* is a popular suggestion for 3 year olds. Devon Mama says “My son is really into imaginative play and role play at the moment and playmobil allows him to do that with the characters and settings. I love that it’s a range that all interacts with each other so you can start small and add as you go on!”
This one may but controversial but Rowena says “My three year old son loves play doh*. He creates all kinds of things – anything from trees, to food to animals. Normally I have no idea what it is he’s made but heis always so excited so I always tell him how brilliant it is! Great for his imagination and also to develop fine motor skills. I do get a bit disturbed when the colours get mixed up though but learning to live with that!”
The Best Toys for Four Year Olds
Rebecca from Imperfect Mummy say “I got my 7 year old a build your own den* set from the works. He loved it although I think it’s probably more suitable for a younger child around 4”
You might also like these Hands on Activities for Four Year Olds.
The Best Toys for Five Year Olds
Rebecca says “I’m going to get my 5 year old a Caterpillar to butterfly garden* for his birthday. It teaches them the life cycle and looks pretty cool, who doesn’t love a butterfly?” Girl Child did one of these at preschool and absolutely loved it.
I had always thought of Playmobil* as being aimed at younger kids so was quite surprised when my 5 year old suddenly fell in love with it. She would spend hours building the sets then making up stories about what they were doing.
A marble run* is also great at this age, younger than 5, they would quite happily watch me build in and then drop the marbles in but once they hit 5 they really started to get interested in building their own routes.
The Best Toys for Six Year Olds
For his sixth birthday, my Grandad bought Boy Child a Metal detector*. It’s designed for kids, so simple to use, but will genuinely detect metal from quite a distance. Even now at 9, he still gets it out and goes searching in the garden from time to time.
Boy Child’s sixth birthday party had a science theme so we bought him a science kit* from Learning Resources. If you’re willing to give them a bit of free rain with some, vinegar, bicarbonate soda and food colouring then they will have hours of fun with it.
The Best Toys for Seven Year Olds
Victoria, who blogs at Lylia Rose, says “My 7 year old girl absolutely loves Lego Friends* and will play with her sets for ages creating all sorts of things.” I found the same with my son, he was interested in LEGO from about 6 but it really came into its own at around 7.
Michelle from What Mummy Thinks suggests the Smart Sketcher* “We love this as it helps foster a love of drawing. Although you essentially trace pictures, this has really helped my daughter improve her feee hand drawing as well as it’s given her more confidence and teaches children step by step how to draw.”
My Dream Reality likes the Usbourne Atlas Jigsaw*. “It took them ages to put together but they learned so much about the world and asked so many questions about different countries! Also, once it’s done, they’ll keep looking at it and this will inspire them to keep learning about geography etc.”
The Best Toys for Eight Year Olds
MeBe Geek says “My son loves his Gravitax*. Great for using imagination to build the tracks for the steel balls to run along. If you do it right gravity will make the balls go to the finish. A great STEM toy. It also has an app to go along with the track to help with examples and to virtually create and test your track before building it.
The Best Toys for Nine Year Olds
Boy Child has just turned 9 and has suddenly got really into music. Something they can listen to music on makes a great gift for this age, as do microphones so they can do some singing themselves.
Most 9 year olds still enjoy a bit of Lego but can have much more fun with some Technic Lego*. There are some great sets out there that can really challenge them while teaching them about engineering.
The Best Toys for Ten Year Olds
Jenny, from The Brick Castle says “I really love the Coding Robot*. It is suitable for age 6+, but it’s only bigger kids who can really get their teeth into it. You can rebuild the robot however you want and you can move on from simple block programming through more complex instructions and then you can even code it completely from scratch with Python. It has all kinds of sensors and possibilities and genuinely teaches computer coding from start to finish.”
Anthea, who children have their own You Tube Review channel has two suggestions for 10 year olds. “My three love meccano (all girls) this Ducati looks amazing when it’s finished, teaches how to follow instructions, tool manipulation, teamwork, problem solving and endurance! Then I love Geomag Mechanics as it’s a brilliant visual tool or learning about gravity and magnetic forces.
So there you have it. A round up of the best toys for each age group as suggested by parents with the experience to know. Weather you are buying for your own child or someone else’s, hopefully this list will stop your gift from being relegated to the loft within a month of purchase.
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