Toy gift guide by age group
Because your six-month-old tot isn’t quite ready for a mountain bike… Here is our toy gift guide from birth up to 4+ years.
What to buy for… 0-6-month-olds
To be fair, you’ve probably got way too much stuff for your tot at this age, anyway, due to your friends and family’s generosity after (and, most likely, before) the birth. But if you’re looking for toys that will stimulate their development, choose carefully. At this age, their hearing is fully developed, so toys that make noise are great, but their sight isn’t quite at the same level. It takes a few months for your tot to focus beyond around 12 inches, and they’re drawn to large scale black and white patterns. Your tot’s grip will be developing, so choose soft toys they can reach for during tummy time. And of course, it’s never too early to read to your tot. Your baby already knows the sound of your voice, so feel free to read a few books a day to get them interested in reading.
Gifts for 0-6 month-olds
- Finn & Emma Play Gym
- Franck & Fischer Hasse Sensory Toy
- Elks and Angels Cuddle Bear
- Estella Organic Sea Rattle Gift Set
- Petit Pehr Mobile – Counting Sheep
- Manhattan Toy Co. Wimmer Ferguson Crawl Discover Mat
- Franck and Fischer Baby Mirror – Grete Orange
What to buy for… 6-12-month-olds
By six months, your tot can see further – and in full color, too! This is a great time to invest in brightly colored toys. Your tot can also focus on objects and follow them, so choose games and toys that encourage your tot to concentrate on colors and patterns.
At this age, your baby really craves attention and recognition, so look for toys you can use together, or at least show her how to use the toys before you hand them over! She’ll love it.
You’ve probably noticed that your tot has started to mimic you – super cute, right? Encourage this with toys that mimic adult activities, like toy keys.
Your tot’s grip – especially their pincer grip – is getting better and better every day, so choose toys that have tactile elements (like holes to place his fingers through).
At this age, your tot is getting ready to explore – or maybe, she’s already off! Crawling and pulling herself up – these can all start to happen at this age, so encourage movement.
Gifts for 6-12-month-olds
- Green Toys Shape Sorter
- Finn & Emma Teething Ring – Piper the Elephant
- Kid O Tempo Music Set
- Zubels Kai Playful Tiger
- Green Toys First Keys
- Manny & Simon Taxi Push Toy
- Manhattan Toy Skwish Color Burst
What to buy for… 12-18-month-olds
Your tot is one! Hard to believe, huh? Right now, your tot is probably off and racing, or close to it!
Your tot might be interested in learning to draw. Her grip will be good enough to hold a chubby crayon, and while she might not be exhibiting at a gallery near you any time soon, with some encouragement, she’ll be happily scribbling away soon.
Board books are also great for this age group, as your tot’s fine motor skills will be developed enough to turn the pages. He’ll love the independence of “reading” by himself!
Gifts for 12-18-month-olds
- Tegu Prism Pocket Pouch
- Kid O Nutty Squirrel Pull Toy
- Haba Pushing Car Walker Wagon
- Kid O Go Car
- Tiny Little Dream Travel Doll
- Weecantoo Vegie Crayon
- Manhattan Toy Co. Wimmer Ferguson See Say Book
What to buy for… 18-24-month-olds
At almost two, your tot is probably happy to “parallel play” (ie to play alongside but not with other toddlers), which is the first step towards playing together. Encourage this with playdates and other activities.
Your tot will be on the go quite a bit now, so give them a helping hand by investing in a trike or balance bike. She’ll be ready to kick, too, so a large, soft ball for practicing their boot skills!
You’ve probably noticed that your tot’s vocabulary is expanding, and his memory is getting better. He can remember and sing along to familiar nursery rhymes and songs, so choose toys that have a musical element to stimulate this sense.
Gifts for 18-24 month-olds
- Playsam Saab Roadster
- Plan Toys Palomino Rocking Horse
- Green Toys Tea Time Puzzle
- Wishbone Flip Bike
- Haba Animal Garden Pegging Game
- Plan Toys Water Landing Net
- Haba Moover Dolls Pram
- Brio First Railway Beginner Pack
- Brio Musical Drum
- Rubbabu Crater Ball
What to buy for… 3-year-olds
At three, your tot’s imagination is soaring. Go for gifts that encourage this, like dress-up costumes and other toys that spark creative play. Your tot still loves to mimic you, and they love toys that allow them to play “adults”, like toy laptops, phones, cooking utensils and tools.
You’ll probably have noticed a huge developmental leap in your tot’s language skills by now, like the fact that you’re able to have conversations with them. Encourage this with books and language DVDs.
Gifts for 3-year-olds:
- Plan Toys Breakfast Menu
- Plan Toys Piggy Bank
- Plan Toys Water Blocks
- Plan Toys Banjo
- Maileg Noah’s Cruise
- Plan Toys Art Board
- Woody Puddy Cooking Stove
- Janod Toys Redmaster Magnetic DIY Trolley
What to buy for… 4-year-olds
Play is still the best way for your tot to explore and understand feelings, and creative play ranks pretty high. Again, dress-ups and toys that encourage imagination are great for 4-year-olds.
Outdoor play is hugely important for your tot at this age – they should be moving for at least 90 minutes a day. Bikes, trampolines and other active toys are great.
At four, your tot is ready to learn how to share – although they might not think so themselves! Encourage this with games that allow players to take turns and share.
Gifts for 4-year-olds:
- Green Toys Indoor Gardening Kit
- Hape Happy Grand Piano
- Plan Toys Croquet Set
- Hape Autobahn
- Natural Earth The Childrens Earth Paint Kit
- Hape Gourmet Grill with Food
- Hape ABC Magnetic letters
- Wishbone 3-in-1 Bike (Recycled Edition)