Giving a child a gift is one of many ways you can show you care about them. Whether you are a family member or friend, the type of gift you give is important. There are age guidelines on toys for safety and developmental reasons. Giving an inappropriate gift will most likely cause more harm than good, so be smart about your gift giving and remember you can always ask the parent or guardian first for suggestions and approval.
As children grow, there are different types of toys that can help in their development and encourage imagination and creativity. Toddlers between the ages of two and three are interested in their physical abilities and assessing what they are able to do. Jumping, running, tumbling, climbing, and throwing are all ways that they learn about their abilities. At this age, they also learn what their little hands can accomplish and build up their hand and finger coordination. Using hand puppets and age-appropriate blocks (almost two inches in diameter) are great tools to bolster their skills. Great gift ideas for this age are:
- Puzzles with knobs
- Tricycle and helmet
- Blocks with letter and numbers
Children start playing together around the age of three and their little imaginations are thriving. Between the ages of three and six, kids enjoy creating and playing make believe. Attachments to toys can easily develop at this age. Arts and Crafts are also great at this age as their creativity continues to expand. Great gift ideas for this age are:
- Stuffed animals
- Tricycle or Bicycle and helmet
- CD player with creative stories and music
- Non-toxic art supplies (safety scissors, paint, glue, construction paper)
Between the ages of six and nine, kids begin to enjoy play that involves strategy and skill. Cards and board games can be great ways to keep them entertained and keep them off their electronics for a little while. Magic games and more advanced athletics become more entertaining, as well. Gift ideas for this age are:
- Science sets
- Magic sets
- Gym equipment
- Jump ropes
- Bicycle and helmet
Giving a gift that promotes learning and development can be a gift of a trip to the zoo or a museum. Plan an outing that is age appropriate and make a memory with your gift. As a member of AAA, you have access to numerous discounts. The Discovery Place Museum in Charlotte, NC is an awesome place to take kids. This science and technology museum is perfect for all ages. The North Carolina Zoo and Riverbanks Zoo and Garden are two amazing places to take the whole family. The family can learn about animals and enjoy a day outside together.
Make sure to review safety with your kids before using toys like trampolines, scooters, and hover boards. Always remember that adult supervision is the best tool for safety.
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