Tips For Choosing Early Years Toys

Choosing toys for babies and toddlers is fun, whether they are for a new addition to the family, or gifts for friends’ children. With so many lovely items to choose from, it can sometimes become a dilemma as to what the little one might enjoy playing with the most. Here’s a guide to the wonderful world of nursery toys!


Gifts for new-borns

Young babies will benefit most from toys which help them to engage their senses. Baby play mats are a really simple way to encourage the little one to move around on a comfortable surface, and are a handy place to pop the baby when you need your arms free.

Some mats include tactile features, which are designed to help the baby develop their sense of touch, sight, and hearing. To help the baby stretch and kick in a variety of positions, look for mats with overhead hanging toys. They will help to encourage the development of fine motor skills, imaginative play, and communication.

For a more portable gift, a simple soft snuggly toy will always be a firm favourite with early years children. Not only a source of comfort and familiarity, the toy encourages skills such as empathy, creative play, and socialising. Most children will naturally chat to a toy animal or doll, effortlessly developing their imagination and language skills.


Gifts for toddlers

Pre-schoolers will be ready for more sophisticated toys, which help develop problem solving skills. There are plenty of games designed for the child to use building blocks to make cars or bridges, for example. Children this age also love toys that help them to pretend play, such as dolls’ houses and dressing-up clothes.

They will also be ready to further their fine motor skills with crayons, finger paints, and colouring books. Kids advance at different rates, but some will be ready to start learning their letters, and will enjoy playing with a magnetic alphabet set.

Toys which encourage them to be active, such as rocking horses, tricycles, and balls games, are all great for a child’s development.


Gifts for the nursery

If your little one already has a plethora of toys to play with, you could encourage well-wishers to buy some useful kit for the nursery instead. For example, night lights which emit a soft glow in the dark are a great way to keep a calm night time atmosphere, and can help you avoid using harsher lights when checking on your little one during the night.

They can be decorative as well as functional, such as a beautifully soothing ceramic star night light, which diffuses a restful glow to avoid overstimulation of the senses. A lovely gift that will surely be appreciated for years to come!

Another great nursery gift idea is some wall art, which has a water-based adhesive backing. They can be applied to any smooth surface, such as walls, ceilings, and furniture. The stickers can be safely removed with no residue, and reused elsewhere. This gives older children a chance to get creative and help to shape their environment.

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