You don’t want to obsess over gender when choosing a toy for your kid at any age, but at the toddler stage especially, it’s completely irrelevant. The most important thing is that the toy is chunky and safe to put in his mouth. That said, you want something that can be kept clean easily.
Colorful, interactive toys with various melodies and songs are particularly useful at this stage, to stimulate your child’s development and help him discover the world around him. Toys like these help your child differentiate between sounds and colors and explore how various movements provide reactions. Also, your boy will be making his first steps at some point at this age, so push-along and ride-on toys that help with balance are great choices.
With 2 year olds, the same basic principles stand as with 1 year olds. However, children develop very quickly so it’s best to look for a toy that’s a bit more stimulating than the previous. Versatile toys are best – for example, learning centers that have different learning modes that will introduce them to letters and numbers. This is also a good time to get them into building to improve their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination – it’s a fun and educational way to keep a 2 year old busy for a long time.
At 3, your boy will express a desire to tinker and a great curiosity for colors, letters, and numbers. Learning centers appropriate for this age are perfect, but you also want quieter toys – you don’t want to overstimulate your child. That’s where building kits come in, and he will be a little niftier with his hands than he was just a year ago, so you can get somewhat more complex pieces. Just make sure there are no choking hazards, and even if he’s past the stage of putting toys in his mouth, supervise him during play.
You’ll have noticed that your little boy has started strongly expressing his unique character. This will mean that he also has some preferences regarding his toys that he simply doesn’t want to compromise. Get him his favorite colors and the things he likes, whether it’s trains, trucks, dinosaurs, etc.
He might start to express a strong preference for toys that are specifically targeted at boys, and this is natural – don’t push anything on him. Obviously, if he wants more “girly” toys, get him that as well. At this age, it’s really good to introduce various puzzles and STEM toys – the challenges will keep him busy and entertained, and he’ll be very proud when he completes them.
Get various toys that help with logic and problem-solving, from building kits to puzzles. But don’t forget that he might also like something flashy from time to time – something that’s fascinating to watch and operate, such as remote-controlled cars. Also, it’s very important at this age to cultivate your child’s social skills.
Get toys that are great for playing with on a playdate or in a bigger group, as this is the peak time to teach sharing and empathy. It’s also a time when you might find you boy’s toys are very fun to play with even for yourself – so get in on the action, help him out, and have some quality bonding time.
Everyone will notice that 6 year old boys are developing rapidly and that their physical strength is increasing. This is the reason why toys that promote physical activity and help them further develop their fine and gross motor skills are a good idea. Anything that will encourage them to be active is a great gift: outdoor toys, skipping rope, balls, as well as art supplies that will help them practice drawing and writing. Remember, it’s not just their physical strength that parents should focus on, but they should also encourage them to express themselves and be creative.
At this age, boys start showing reference for a particular style of learning which is easily noticeable in the way they tackle every new task. While some will jump into every new adventure and love building and tearing things down, others will gladly enjoy peace and quiet while they read, draw, or play. Their balance, hand-eye coordination and strength are much improved and they’ll love spending time outside and being active. Outdoor toys that encourage physical activity, as well as toys they can share with their friends and siblings, are always a good idea.
When they turn 8, boys start getting different worldviews and begin experimenting with games and toys. They like to explore and invent new things and this spirit of creativity and innovation is something to encourage and nurture. Boys age 8 and older like to play with different toys and might even like to make toys on their own.
On the other hand, this is also the time when parents should step up and encourage them to focus on school a bit more, as playtime is often enjoyable and distracting which might result is a few lower grades. Educational toys are the best choice as these combine learning and having fun in the best way.
The best toys for 9 year old boys usually focus on competition and always try to be better, stronger, and faster than their siblings and friends. A little bit of competition can be a great motivation and a good thing for them, but you should remind them that the point of playtime and games is to have fun. Toys that encourage social interaction and sharing are the best for this age, along with outdoor and physical toys that will allow them to get rid of some of that excess energy that builds up in them overnight.
While younger boys can find pretty much any toy and game to be a source of great joy and hours of fun. 10 year old boys need something that will challenge them and help them develop their minds and bodies further. Toys that you choose should enhance their social and emotional skill, but also their cognitive skills because at this age they already know a lot about the world and are ready to explore it in more depth. Educational and tech toys are very popular for they allow the boys to test their cognitive and further improve their problem-solving skills.