9 tips on choosing good toys for baby and toddlers

You have toys in all shapes, colors, materials and sizes. When buying toys there are a number of criteria that play a role. The most important thing is that your child appreciates the toys, because what you choose does not necessarily have to choose your son / daughter. A boy can play very well with dolls and a girl with a train. Playing is very important for the development of the child, because it is therefore challenged to develop itself. Especially in the first year many brain connections are created by gaining impressions, the rest disappears. Dr. Frans Plooij even assumes that playing is just as important as feeding and sleeping. Qualitatively good toys are therefore very important! For a baby you buy toys other than for a toddler.

What is good quality toy?

The ten golden rules for good toys :

  1. Teach you something without noticing it
  2. Connect to the development of the child (the player)
  3. Offers new and different possibilities
  4. Does not go wrong quickly
  5. Reports an age indication
  6. Is sustainable
  7. Is always worth its money
  8. Is safe
  9. Is provided with a manual
  10. Do you forget the time

The nicest toys will always be mom and dad!

9 Tips on choosing toys

When buying toys you can of course ask your child what he / she likes and wants. If your child can not talk yet, you do not have that much. Or maybe it is considerably out of budget. The following tips can help you on your way to choosing toys:

  1. If you let your baby or child play with something, 2 or 3 toys are sufficient. In the box you can put down two or three toys or when it is older 2 or 3 baskets with toys that the child should first clear himself before it starts elsewhere.
  2. For babies who are more than average susceptible to stimuli, you can choose the best toy that does not make too much light and sound. So no electronic toys or too many toys.
  3. Young children do not yet have complete control over their movements; wooden toys or dust that does not break quickly if hit or towed with is ideal.
  4. Up to three years it is important to choose toys that do not contain small elements, this can be dangerous for the child or break down.
  5. With all toys, quality is generally better than quantity. You better opt for a slightly more expensive version with different functionalities so that the baby / toddler / toddler can entertain themselves for longer. This saves you not only in the wallet but also in the required storage space.
  6. Toys do not have to be expensive; objects that you already have at home are often more than enough. So you have a bucket and spoon a good drum and a large cardboard box can serve as a bed for the doll or shelter. This is good to stimulate the fantasy of children.
  7. If money plays a role you can always try to buy toys from someone else, you can go to a second hand shop, look at Marktplaats or on the tickets at a supermarket.
  8. Children can make a choice if it is not too wide; therefore do not let them choose from a complete toy store but from a preselection. You can also give them a certain budget so they learn that they can not always have everything.
  9. Try to create a diverse range of toys that stimulates different ‘talents’; such as the gross and fine motor skills, social, cognitive, constructive and creative toys.

Toys for babies (0 to 6 months)

Young babies are very busy with discovering themselves and the environment. Senses play a major role in this; they learn to look, feel, taste and smell. In the beginning this will be mainly passive and later on consciously played. Toys that stimulate one or more senses fits best with this stage of life.

  • Mobile ; For a good purchase, pay attention to the colors when purchasing. bright colors in particular are attractive, a variety of movement to train the eyes and any extras such as a projector or the possibility of converting it to a stand.
  • Music box ; There are various types of music boxes on the market, many music boxes let classical music hear because it works soothing for the baby.
  • Rocking chair ; can also be used instead of a bouncer, ideal if the baby is restless and you have to do something else, some babies also like to fall asleep.
  • Rattle ; young babies can not hold a rattle, of course you can practice this, but there are also special foot and wrist rattles on the market. After that, especially narrow rattles that fit in the hand are ideal, preferably not plastic because a baby still has no control over his movements.
  • Projector ; A baby likes to look at lamps. A projector can provide some distraction before bedtime. The baby will calm down and eventually fall asleep at the start.
  • Tutpoppetjes / label cloths ; At a certain moment the baby will move everything he / she gets in his hands to his mouth. A tutu doll will prevent the hands from being tampered with and preventing the first form of thumbs.
  • Baby gym ; The baby will become more active around the three months. When purchasing a baby gym, it is important that the baby gym has four legs that are connected to a sleeper instead of the so-called l-shape. If there is also an activity at the crossbeam, this also stimulates lifting the head. Primary colors are particularly important for young babies. It is good if the toys all stimulate something else; for example a mirror, a bell, something to squeeze and something with a face. With some baby gyms you can change the toys to give a new challenge. Finally, there are baby gyms that you can later convert into activity boards.
  • Dolls ; or other stuffed animals or even paper with a face on it. A baby does not yet see the difference and can react to it as if it were a person and, for example, keep entire stories.
  • Booklets ; From three months it is good to start reading aloud. With so-called crackling or bath books your baby can already ‘read’. Choose quiet books with simple pictures of objects that you encounter in everyday life.

Parents, however, are the best toys at this age; By playing games together like a plane or trying to pull up, the child can develop himself in a safe environment. If the child has just been sleeping in the box to sleep and then recognizes his mother, that can already bring a big smile. Bathing together can also be very nice for babies or a baby massage with which the baby can get to know his own body.

Toys for babies (6 to 12 months)

Babies of this age discover that something they do provokes a reaction. They also learn to repeat this and to consciously develop a reaction, so they gain more control over their own body. At this age they also learn to sit, crawl and maybe even walk.

  • Playpen ; There are both simple boxed clothes that a baby can learn to crawl on without having to lie on the hard floor to extensive variations with activity’s and mirrors and even complete arches. Here, too, the colors are very important.
  • Teethers ; When the first teeth come through, a teether can come in handy. The best you can buy is one that you can also cool or heat. Preferably you buy this new.
  • Ball ; As soon as a baby can crawl you can stimulate him or her to roll behind the ball. Other toys such as cars with a string or wind engine are also ideal to stimulate your baby to go after this.
  • Figure oven ; At a certain point, babies want to do things somewhere or drop them out. A figure stew stimulates fine motor skills and is the first form of puzzling.
  • Music ; Babies especially love classical music. Especially for this Raymond Lap has adapted well-known music for parents to babies; from Bach and Mozart to the Beatles, also the CD Sleepy Baby can work wonders. The DVDs of Baby Einstein also start to become interesting at this age.
  • Water, sand and grass ; Various materials where babies can get acquainted under supervision. Never leave your baby alone in the water, even in a small layer. Also with sand and grass you have to stay in the area. When the weather is warm, splashing in a bath can be greatly appreciated.
  • Carriage ; As soon as they start to try, a trolley can be fun and help with development. If your child can not yet walk independently, make sure that the wheels are braked so that the trolley does not run off without your child.

Babies often need attention or ask for this. They will throw toys out of the box with the intention that mom will pick it up. With toys with doors or buttons you can show the baby by showing how something works. It is good to start playing independently at a young age; in the beginning this will be five minutes while you are sitting next to the box, later there may be some more space or even from another room. Especially when your baby goes to a nursery, it is good to practice this at a young age. You can also place the baby on a rug on the floor to show the world from a different perspective. To stimulate crawling and walking, you can go crawling with your baby or give two fingers to stand and take a few steps.

Toddler (12 to 24 months)

A toddler can already play in a focused way. He can think of what he wants and then carry it out. Also multiple actions in a row or toys that require a certain action can provide a lot of learning and playing pleasure. The vocabulary grows very strongly during this period, you can also respond to this.

  • Walking chairs ; There are walkers that are combined with an activity center, these days your child the best and deliver the most fun. When purchasing a walking chair, pay attention to the fact that you do not start too early in order to not overburden the hips and back too much. A wooden rocking horse can be very challenging.
  • Pull toy ; In this phase children like to pull something for themselves, especially if they can walk once they can walk a lot of rounds to, for example, pull a duck with quack paws.
  • Stacking toys ; For example, they challenge blocks or stack towers to build towers. The best thing is of course when they fall over.
  • Open end toys; Toys where children can come up with a game themselves. Among other things, the toys of Grimm’s is very popular, such as the wooden rainbow .
  • Duplo ; The forerunner of Lego is fun for children from 1.5 years. Especially for this age there are some larger toys with few blocks. For example, a zoo or garage.
  • Large cars ; For outside cars where the toddlers themselves can sit in are very challenging; in the backyard they travel around the world for their famous world; from supermarket to the nursery. Also walking bikes for indoor fall into this category.
  • Puzzles ; Large puzzles with their own pocket (so not together) fit well with this age. A puzzle does not necessarily have to be big to be appreciated.
  • Bubble blower ; Blowing bubbles yourself is not always successful, but when mom blows, the toddler can already destroy them. This is a handy recipe for making your own bubble bladder .
  • Bath toys ; Small bath animals, but also larger machines where a bucket of water lures actions, children like it very much and they can enjoy themselves for a long time.
  • Musical instruments ; Especially percussion such as drums or instruments with which you can shake as samba balls fit well with this age.
  • Cuddles ; Probably the child already has a favorite hug, but a whole collection can be a precursor to fantasy play.
  • Motor toys; great toys where children can climb, climb, walk, slide and much more. Popular are the Wobbel and the wooden indoor slide . With a combination of this toy you can also set up an obstacle course very well .
  • Books ; Picture books with little text and many ‘search images’ can provide a lot of fun, after reading them the child can be asked to look for things or to name them. Reading books with short stories where the child can easily keep his attention and a nice picture they often like. Just like cardboard booklets that they can read themselves. Nowadays there are also booklets with all buttons that make sound.
  • Roller toys ; Simple toys such as a telephone, kitchen, vacuum cleaner etc. with which a child can play his dad or mommy can be very appreciated.
  • Clay or shaving cream ; Simple materials such as clay or shaving foam with which a child can knead or draw figures can stimulate the creative baby.
  • Pencils and finger paint ; For creative children, especially pencils are good for practicing fine motor skills (markers do the opposite) and finger paints that require less control can provide a lot of fun.
  • Music ; Toddlers will sing songs or come up with their own, a CD with well-known children’s songs can be a support for the parent. Also CDs with music known for children like K3 or Ernst Bobbie and the Rest are popular.

Toddlers can already play independently and indicate when they need help. Especially if there are peers in the neighborhood this may be the case. Toy sharing is still very difficult at this age. Also at this age you can pretend as a parent which action belongs to a toy. A lot of talking with the child is good for the language development and bond with your child.

Toddler (24 to 36 months)

Toddlers like to play around the world. Game material that can help with this is therefore a favorite. The eye-hand coordination is now so good that it can already put a doll in bed, with putting on clothes it may still need help. At this age they will play together side by side for the first time; children can play with the same toys but in their own game.

  • Dolls ; Not only girls, also boys like to play with dolls. They really like it when they also have a kitchen, bed, doctor’s set or other accessories. With this they can re-enact daily situations and thus understand better. Baby Annabell interactive doll is a popular doll.
  • Cars ; For this, not only boys but also girls like this. In addition to a collection of cars, they like to play in a garage with all kinds of parts such as a lift, pump or hoist.
  • Train set ; A wooden train track with separate trains can provide long fun. Extra parts such as trees, houses etc. are not essential for this fun.
  • Booklets ; Toddlers want to be big and like to read for themselves. Some children can also read paper booklets.
  • Construction angle ; With a work table with holes and various (fabric) toy tools they can make everything; the carpentry game is often the best.
  • Puzzles ; Not only wooden puzzles but also puzzles of foam that can be made on the floor are fun.
  • Cloths and cushions ; With a few rugs, ropes and clothespins you can create a boat from bed, or a hut under the table. They can snuggle away in a pile of pillows.
  • Macaroon bun ; In the winter, you can turn the sandbox into a macaroon tray; This can also be a solution for children with a dust allergy. Bucket and scoops can also be used here.
  • Bicycles and motorbikes ; Outdoor toys such as metal bicycles or a motor are often used when playing outside.
  • Swing ; They want to be pushed on a swing and they can not be high enough.
  • Simple games ; Simple games such as catching fish or memory are very suitable for this age.
  • Pencils and chalks ; In addition to pencils, children like to color with chalks. The tearing or cutting of paper and then pasting it up presents a lot of challenge.

For parents it is fun to watch the game and occasionally ask open questions such as “What have you signed?” To be involved in the game. If the child threatens to lose his interest in the game, a simple question such as “Where does the train go” will trigger a new game or lead the child’s attention to the toy again. You often see that toddlers play a familiar role in their role-play and also take over corresponding statements. After the game they are very capable to clean up their toys themselves. If children do not go to a nursery, this is the age to get used to a playgroup.

Toys for Toddlers (36 to 48 months)

This is the last phase before they are real toddlers and they go to school. By means of toys they can be prepared for this and, for example, learn colors or count up to 10. Independent clothing and toilet training is also useful for self-reliance.

  • Music / DVDs / dances ; Children can completely break free of music, there is good running or looking at themselves in the mirror. DVDs have to last a quarter of an hour or half an hour to get full attention.
  • Costumes ; To stimulate the imagination you can give them costumes. Old shoes, big chains, masks and cloths are good as accessories.
  • Puzzles ; At this age, toddlers are ready for some more complicated puzzles. If a puzzle is too difficult, you can offer it again later in life.
  • Booklets ; Reading booklets remains fun. If they are read aloud they can hear the same story after a few times.
  • Construction material ; With blocks or Duplo high towers can be built or baked cakes that you can eat as a parent.
  • Pillows ; In an angle with larger cushions, old mattresses and blankets can be nicely used or used as a slide and obstacle course.
  • Coloring pages ; In girls, the development is slightly faster than in boys, which means that they are generally slightly more likely to color within lines. They will also make a drawing sooner where you can discover something yourself.
  • Table and chairs ; Children often like it when they have a table at their own height with matching chairs or couch in which toys can be stored.
  • Kitchen ; Not only a toy kitchen such as the Ikea Duktig kitchen , but also the real kitchen in which cookies are baked, decorated cakes or fruit salad are very fascinating.
  • Marble tracks ; Material with which a ball track can be made and other challenging games will be highly appreciated after a few times.

As a parent you can try to prepare your toddler for the kindergarten class . This can be done by regularly counting whether they learn the shapes and colors . At this age children can play fairly well independently , parents can support this by indicating the limits.

What is the favorite toy of your children?