Finding a toy for your child to play with isn't difficult toy stores and gifts from generous grandparents can keep a child in playthings for years.
But making sure the toy is age-appropriate and educational is a little trickier. According to Ruth Nathan, Ph.D., learning potential is highest when instruction is tailored to a child's individual skill level.
The toys should provide a challenge neither too easy nor too frustrating to make motivation levels higher and learning more enjoyable, according to Nathan.
Nathan offers some guidelines to help parents understand a child's skills.
An infant up to age 1 normally learns or begins to reach for and grasp objects; respond to music with body motion; place objects into and remove objects from a container.
A toddler age 1 to 2 normally learns or begins to follow simple instructions; carry a stuffed animal or doll; sort objects by shape and color and enjoy hearing stories read aloud.