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Spoil The Little Ones With Toys From These Stores

NEW  |  FEB 2, 2023

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As kids grow and develop, it is important to keep their bodies active, and minds stimulated. However, with so much marketing directed at shoving any and every toy in a parent's shopping cart, it sometimes may feel overwhelming having to choose the right toys. While most toys have a suggested age range based on a variety of variables, including the child's age, predicted motor development, and maturity level, you should remember age labelling needs to be taken with a grain of salt. When choosing a toy for your child, it's crucial to keep in mind that kids develop at various speeds. In this article, we will give you tips and tricks on how to buy the right toys for the right age, and which The Glen Shopping Centre stores to shop them. You could say it’s a kiddies’ code to toyland…clearly, the name still needs work! 

0 - 12 Months, The Tiniest Of Tots 

During the first three months of your baby’s life, their vision is blurry, and they don’t do much except observe their surroundings. Because their minds are already curious, their toys should not be black and white but rather have a bit more colour. As they grow, they start interacting with the world in bits and pieces, so go for toys that are designed to promote interaction in a variety of ways. They may squeak or make a crinkling noise, have a nubby texture, and/or be soft and cuddly. Infants tend to mouth toys; textured ones can help relieve teething pain. Visit Toys R Us at The Glen Shopping Centre and get the little ones chewy, bright, and interactive toys to help them develop. There is a range of toys for all kids’ ages, so you will not need to make too many stops if you have children that are a few (or a lot of) years apart. Some toys to look for when shopping for kids this age are: 

  • Rattles
  • Indestructible mirrors
  • A floor gym
  • Display boards
  • Soft, washable stuffed animals or dolls in bright colours with a friendly face
  • Small fabric balls with stuffing

1 - 2 Years, Firsts And Fits 

Your baby’s newly-acquired motor skills are put to good use as this is the ‘cause-and-effect’ age. This means that your child(ren) will enjoy toys that respond to their actions and make use of those motor skills. Toy companies tend to encourage giving them toys that make sounds, name a letter or number, or shape when being pressed by the baby. Other toys to look into include: 

  • A ring stack
  • Nesting boxes or cups
  • Toys for pushing or pulling that produce noise, have moving parts, or both
  • Kids’ hammering kits that allow them to push balls or pegs through holes
  • Simple, reliable musical instruments like maracas, tambourines, and drums
  • Shape sorters
  • Play vehicles with plastic occupants, such as a school bus or a fire engine
  • Four or five-piece puzzles
  • Toys like rubber ducks or boats

Visit The Glen Shopping Centre’s Toy Kingdom and shop the above and other exciting toys such as superhero and action figures, arts and crafts, educational, and more toys. 

2 - 5 Years, Finding Themselves 

From 2-3, your child starts being purposeful with their playing, with their motor skills now upgraded to being able to complete a puzzle or build a block by themselves. They also enjoy pretend play that involves the people around them, dolls that talk, and toys that make real-life sounds. Don't worry if your child plays in a gendered fashion if you avoid gender preconceptions at home. Babies who are assigned a male gender at birth may like scooping sand up with dump trucks, while babies who are born female may pretend to feed and tuck their dolls into bed. Let children play with the toys they prefer, regardless of their gender. Some of the toys to look into include: 

  • Dolls and stuffed animals 
  • Make-believe props like a toy telephone, tea set, or doll stroller 
  • Musical instrument 
  • Puzzle with more pieces 
  • Toys that snap together and come apart easily 

Once they are past this stage, their sense of self is growing, and they are now heading into a space where they are tremendously curious and their minds are hungry for knowledge. This is the perfect time to introduce interactive educational toys that teach maths and verbal skills, such as phonics boards or tablets with parent-approved games. It is important here that you go for toys that speak and interact with the kid(s) by saying things like “Good job” and “Let’s try that again”. Visit The Glen Shopping Centre’s Homemark to shop some interactive and educational toys (some as seen on TV) from Homemark. Some toys to consider for this age are: 

  • Active games like Jenga, The Floor Is Lava, Twister 
  • Balls 
  • Bicycle with training wheels 
  • Action figures 
  • Puzzles with greater complexity 

6, 7, 8 And Up We Go 

At this age, your child is starting to get specific about what they like. While this may be influenced by you, their teachers, as well as peers, it is important to let them have that sense of identity and choice and allow them to change their minds. At this age, kids often become fans of computer games, but they also enjoy having friends over to play sports, board games, and build things. Friends are becoming increasingly important, and your child will start asking for a particular toy (if they haven't already) because "everyone else has it”. Although many children appreciate musical toys, it might be challenging for them to play real instruments. Some toys to consider: 

  • Video games 
  • Slime 
  • Remote control cars 
  • Science, beading, or arts and crafts kits. 
  • Sports equipment 

Visit BT Games at The Glen Shopping Centre to shop some toys and video games to ensure that the little one gets the stimulation they need. 

Don’t Forget To Get Involved 

As your child grows and develops, and while toys can help a great deal, it is important that you make playtime with your child a frequent thing. This is to let them feel comfortable about learning from you when they see you involved and offering as much support as possible. As your child grows, start introducing them to independence and making their own choices, this will make them feel trusted and safe. 

For all things toys and baby, visit the best toy stores in Johannesburg, and South Africa, at The Glen Shopping Centre and find your kid’s next toy.

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