They have a birthday party and it’s the way that apple juice and pizza are served. Unless the parents have specified “no gifts”, you have to go shopping. Where do you start
Let’s make this a little easier by starting with a basic question: How old is the child? It is important to consider age as a child’s ability to enjoy a toy depends on their physical, cognitive, and emotional level of development.
A simple example is a typical 2 year old doesn’t know what to do with a 100 piece puzzle (other than eat it) while a 5 year old sees a rattle toy and says, “This is a baby toy. ” Avoid these words at all costs if you want to remain family friends.
Your goal is to select an age-appropriate or development-appropriate toy that is fun and safe for the recipient in their current stage of development. As children get older, rapidly expanding neural pathways, increased strength and motor control, and changes in emotional regulation affect how they play with objects around them. Fortunately for you, the packaging can help you get a good idea of whether a child is ready for a toy.
All toys sold in the United States have a minimum age listed on the packaging. Pay attention to the age rating because it indicates what type of safety testing the toy was required by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Toys are often labeled “3+” because of small parts that pose a choking hazard for children under 2 who really like to put things in their mouth and nose.
Now that you’ve narrowed down your choices, it’s time to think about parents. Bless their hearts. A second question to ask yourself is: “will a parent have fun with it too?“Good toys enable adults and children to play together. Children learn by interacting with real, living people whose facial expressions, tone of voice, and other micro-movements reinforce a child’s actions.
When adults play with children, children develop greater self-confidence and master the skills that they practice through play. Blocks, dress-up kits, instruments, and other toys that encourage creative play are fantastic ways to involve both children and adults.