Parenting Tips: Choosing Toys for Kids 3-8 years

With the holidays right around the corner, here are some tips for choosing toys for your kids:

Even though toys with lots of lights and noises say “educational”, remember that they are only one dimensional.  There’s not a lot of things a kid can do with them except to sit, hit the buttons and watch them do their thing.  Instead, remember that the more your child has to think and move to get a toy to work, the more she is learning.

Look for toys that everyone can play– board games are made for kids 3 and up that don’t require reading, but that help kids learn to count, their colors and shapes and maybe more important, how to take turns, follow rules and have fun with people of all ages.  They teach about relationships and language skills, and important social skills like winning and losing gracefully.

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Buy toys that encourage activity like balls, trikes, or scooters, bowling sets with stuffed balls and pins, bean bag targets, kid size basketball hoops, wagons.  The advantages are that while your child is being active, he can do so on his own or with other kids and family members of any age.

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Kids want to be like you so… get them real objects or toys that look like the “real thing”.  Toddlers like remotes and cell phones.  Older children like to cook or use tools, get them some  These types of real world toys help them learn to problem solve, how things work and small motor skills- the muscles of the hands and fingers- too.  Child scissors that cut,  musical instruments, household cleaning tools like mops, gardening tools are great.  And it’s also a treat to take things you are about to toss apart.  Before throwing something in the trash, see if it would be fun to give it an autopsy to see what’s inside!

Provide toys that require imagination like dress ups, blocks/lego/duplo, dishes, plastic foods, science kits, cars and trucks with rugs that have roads…. Anything they can adapt to many uses.


Most of the best toys do not cost all that much, in fact they can often be found around the house or at thrift stores.  They do require your time and input, and sometimes that’s tough.  But your time is the most valuable gift, and they only want to play with mom and dad for a short time.  You know they grow up fast!


Thomas Learning Centers provides NECPA accredited preschool and childcare at the most affordable rates in the Denver Metro Area.  Check us out at , click on the offers below, drop in for a visit to get to know more about us. We’d love to meet you!

Call  877-938-1442 for general info

Lakewood 303-237-0917 or Westminster 303-427-8831


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