Feeling a little lost when trying to come up with a gift? Don’t have any clue what a three-year-old is interested in? Looking for something for a newborn that can actually engage them? Rock Paper Scissors is here to help you.
We have put together a developmental breakdown by ages as well as a few item selections available at Rock Paper Scissors to help give you an idea of what to look for. As always, our Edumaginationists are on staff to help guide you to the perfect purchase.
Almost all neurons (nerve cells) are present at birth but are not yet connected in networks. The connecting process (synapse formation) is rapid during this year, with brain activity become closer to adult than newborn by 12 months.
At this age, it’s all about touch, taste, smell, sight and sound. Babies, like scientists, are constantly exploring the world around them. Toys that help them learn dexterity and cause-and-effect make excellent choices.
The toddler brain is twice as active as the adult brain.
The structures of the brain are sensitive to language and social-emotional responses develop. Motor development continues at a rapid pace. Toddlers continue to explore the world around them but in a much more interactive way.
Children at this age often try to get their hands on anything they haven’t seen before; be it the contents of mom’s purse or dad’s tools, they want to examine it. Toys that encourage active play as well as toys that stimulate the mind such as puzzles or musical instruments make great gifts.
This is the age where gender-specific interests begin to emerge. Boys tend to turn to toys like cars, trains, and building sets to stimulate their senses and develop motor skills and social interaction. Girls this age may turn to art and dolls. This stimulates their creativity and develops their social skills as they share with their peers.
At this age, children begin to develop an interest in imaginary play. Costumes, kitchen toys, toolboxes, and doctor kits are excellent for enriching their fantasies.
Preschool or kindergarten expands children’s horizons
to include new peers. They enjoy playing together and creating their own adventures and stories. Encourage them to read and make up their own stories. This is also a good age to introduce scientific and natural materials like magnets, magnifying glasses and simple science kits. This is a good time for teaching children how to tell time.
This is a good time for them to develop skills in music, dance, art, or writing so they can discover their own strengths and interests. Encourage imaginative play with books, games and science experiments, and active play with toys that get them moving.
At this age, children love group activities and acting out made-up stories. They also begin to enjoy playing alone. A separation of boys and girls solidifies. Kids love to work together to build forts or play houses. At this age, teasing increases. Children with strong verbal skills are better able to deal with teasing. Books and games can sharpen verbal skills.
Increased body and hand/eye coordination opens up new physical skills. They enjoy creating books to show off their improved writing abilities. Puppets and fantasy figures will help inspire creativity and dramatic play. Math challenges, science kits, and strategy games will help increase attention spans.
Increasing attention spans leads to greater powers of concentration and competitiveness. Role-playing, making things, board games, and the introduction of new outdoor and sports activities keep children learning through play. Scouts, sports teams and secret clubs become increasingly important.
An increased attention span allows children to try and complete more involved craft or science projects. Again, active play remains important.
Eleven-year-olds are playful and talkative. They enjoy pursuing complicated projects with friends and also in pursuit of their individual interests. At this age, money management and a sense of contribution to the family is important. If encouraged all along, reading will remain important.
It is at this age that pre-teens hone the skills they have learned through play. Competitive sports remain
a big part of many children’s lives. Asserting their independence and testing their leadership skills becomes increasingly important.
Teens become more concerned about their bodies and fashion. Peer groups become increasingly important. While they may feel the pressure of more challenging schoolwork, they are capable of understanding complex thoughts. With a developing sense of right and wrong, they may become passionate about certain causes. They begin to think of their future and develop goals for themselves.