Gift Guide For Children At Christmas
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Toys. Just saying the word brings a smile to anyone’s face! Adults can quickly tell you what their favorite toy was growing up. Picking out toys for kids can be tricky in today’s world! Age and gender must sometimes be considered. Toy shopping can send any adult into a state of panic! Age appropriate toys are important. There are age guidelines on all toys. Children develop differently and parents can best choose their toys. What about first time parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents or friends? The age appropriate guideline is very helpful. You would not want to buy a puzzle for a 6 month old baby or a cooking set for a 16 year-old.
Gender – Toys are often separated by gender. Toy packages or advertisements will show boys or girls playing with a particular item. Toys are even more gender separated now than in past years. Toy stores may even separate the store by girl side and boys side. In the past, toys were gender specific for the roles boys and girls would play as adults.
Girl toys were very domestic in nature like kitchen sets, sewing and baking. Boy toys were construction or building like blocks, erector sets or carpentry sets. The early 1970’s were revolutionary for toys. Advertisements switched things up and started showing boys playing with kitchens and girls playing with building sets. They were challenging the gender stereotypes. Unfortunately, this was a short-lived trend. In the 1980’s advertisement and packaging went back to boy only and girl only.
Many parents do not follow gender specific toy selection for their children. This is fine and allows for more creative play and exploration. My own children played with all types of toys. My advice if you are buying for a child you do not know very well is stick to gender specific toys.
Birth To One Year – Birth to one year like bright small toys they can hold and chew on. Toys that make noise or have music are always a hit. Melissa and Doug have great products for birth to teenagers. They believe in creativity and active play. Soft cover books, balls, activity stations or stuffed animals will hold a young toy player’s attention.
Fisher Price company has plush toys, music makers, sorting and rolling toys and walker toys. They are durable and bright in color. Fisher Price toys are available online and at local stores. Mini interactive toys are very popular for crawlers and walkers. Interactive toys encourage babies to use their fine motor skills while playing.
Little Tikes is another long-standing toy brand. Known for their plastic outdoor toys, Little Tikes also dabble in interactive toys for crawlers and walkers. Jungle, animal, sea creatures toy themes can be found in baby gear, walking toys and outdoor toys. Soft toys are available for six months and under.
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