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Tips for choosing toys for kids

Toys help kids learn about the world around them. Children pick up new skills when playing, learn about cause and effect or even learn about relationships and roles within the family. A child's age is one of the first ways to shop for new toys. To shop by age, click the child's age in the boxes on the left side of the page and browse through the results. Also, knowing a child's interests makes it easy to shop by department or type of toy. To shop by department, choose the type of toy you're considering and click it on the left side of the page to see the available options. Here are some important considerations to think about as you're choosing toys.

Shopping for toys by a child's age

  • Infants aged 0 to 12 months enjoy brightly colored toys that make noise or move when touched. Choose toys that have no small pieces for children in this age group. The youngest children in this group enjoy simple toys that rattle or small, lightweight, colorful stuffed toys. As infants grow and are able to roll or sit up, they enjoy toys that react to a press of a button or a bump against the floor.
  • Toddlers 12 to 24 months old enjoy toys that let them interact with their environment. Colorful, lightweight blocks or stacking toys with rounded edges, musical instruments and beginner electronic toys are all popular choices. When toddlers begin walking, toys that are designed to be pushed around the room are also good choices. Walk-behind toys encourage muscle development while children are learning to walk and get around without crawling.
  • Two- to 4-year-old preschoolers enjoy play sets that mimic daily adult life and interactive toys. At this age, kids like seeing what happens if they push or pull on a toy. They also enjoy play tables with interactive features and electronic toys. It's easy to delight them with toys that feature favorite animated characters from popular media like TV shows and movies.
  • Children from 5 to 7 years old enjoy a variety of toys. Ride-on toys, electronic toys, dolls, action figures and beginner remote control toys are all popular with young, elementary school-aged children. These types of toys use entertainment to encourage kids to begin learning skills that carry through to adulthood.
  • Eight- to 11-year-old kids benefit from taking more control of the world around them, and that shows in their toys. Things like bikes and scooters encourage active play. Building kits support STEM skills. Arts and crafts kits encourage creativity and the development fine motor skills. Blaster toys, actions figures and games are also popular toys that support a child's creativity and imagination.
  • Kids aged 12 years old and up begin to see toys that support more advanced STEM skills and learning. Larger bicycles help keep kids active as they grow. Advanced electronics and musical instruments support learning and music appreciation. Building sets and blocks keep kids busy for hours. Games are useful for larger families or when kids are having a friend over.

Picking toys by department

Another way to pick toys for kids is by the child's interest or according to skills you want to encourage your child to develop.

  • Musical instruments and karaoke machines encourage your child to sing and make music.
  • Remote control, drones and play vehicles give a child a way to experience driving and operating a machine on a small, safe scale.
  • Games and puzzles are available for preschoolers and older children. Games help kids learn about taking turns and following rules, plus kids enjoy playing them and getting a little competitive.
  • Learning toys help younger children develop motor skills through entertaining interactions. The bright colors, sounds and moving parts make these toys fun for young kids.
  • Action figures like superheroes, dinosaurs and characters from popular shows entertain kids and encourage role-playing games.
  • Outdoor play toys get kids up and moving in the fresh air. These toys encourage age-appropriate outdoor playtime and help kids stay active.
  • Arts and crafts for kids help you bring out the little artist in your child. These kits encourage creative play and scientific exploration through cause and effect. Your child will also get to enjoy admiring his or her finished product with a craft kit.
  • Dolls and dollhouses help children learn about relationships and caring for others. Choose a baby doll to help a child learn about nurturing an infant. Choose fashion dolls to help a child practice role playing. Collectible dolls are ideal for decorating shelves in a child's room.
  • Stuffed animals and plush toys come in designs created for children of all ages. Stuffed toys for infants and toddlers are lightweight and have no small parts that pose choking hazards. These plush toys are also often washable or designed to wipe clean. Plush toys for older kids have longer fur and sometimes have interactive features like noisemakers or internal lights to hold your child's attention.