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MAIN Arrow to Toy ReviewsToy Reviews Arrow to Toy ReviewsPopular Toys by Age Group

Toddler, tween and teen toys & gamesWhether it's for a birthday or holiday gift, shopping for kids toys and games only gets easier if you're familiar with the latest popular toys on the market and the recommended age group they're targeted to.

Other important considerations, of course, are gender-specific toys, or the child's particular personality and general interests. Dinosaur fan? Budding artist? Social butterfly?

Get a handle on kid's toy shopping with our mom-reviewed guide to some of the most popular toys and games on the market, including expert tips on picking out just the right toy for infants, toddlers, young kids, tweens and teens:

12-24 months  |  2 year old  |  3 - 5  |  6 - 8  |  9 - 11  |  12 - 14  |  15 +

Birth to 12 months Toys should get baby's attention with bright, contrasting colors, sound, and/or texture. Babies need objects that they can grasp, push, or pull in order to master cause and effect, coordination, and motor skills. Babies begin to ascertain social cues at this age generally by being held and corresponding tone of voice to facial expressions.

Push n Pull Elephant Baby Toys - Birth to 6 Months

12-24 months At this age the young child involves experimentation with the five senses, as well as motor movements that help them learn what they can physically do. It's an important time for children to develop independence and a sense of self through practice play and repetition. Language development is crucial, which makes it so important for adults to talk to children, engage them with conversation and read stories whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Gorilla Blocks This is Serious Ming Ming
Sing with Me Barney Uncle Goose Alphabet Blocks

2 years It is important for toddlers to play with adults, while engaging with others, toddlers learn to take turns, enhance language skills, and foster positive self esteem. Observation and problem-solving skills are reinforced by hide and seek style games. At this age kids love dress up and pretend play, hosting tea parties, taking care of their baby dolls, whipping up a plastic dinner with pots and pans clanging, and general role playing activities.

Barney Dance'n Play Guitar Yackle Ball
Elmo Live

3-5 years Kids this age are on the go. Play involves more social interaction with peers, reinforcing important social skills, cooperation, and taking turns. Children love to build and create. Besides developing motor skills and self-esteem activities like building with blocks, putting together structures, artwork, water, sand, and rice, finger painting, Play-Doh are important for preschoolers to explore and discover. As well as encouraging their love of running, jumping, climbing, and throwing balls outdoors.

Barbie Ford Mustang Little People
Beanie Babies 2.0 Lolle Lavina, Kathe Kruse doll
Bindi Irwin Doll Kid's Mini Oh Fudge Kit
  Boggle Jr. Lucky Ducks
  Brainquest Magna Tiles
  Camp Match It Math
  Candyland Memory
  Chutes and Landers Musical Band
  A Day in the Kingdom Play Set Picnic Game
  Crayola Crayons Pizza Party Play Food
  Crazy Eights Secret Square
  Discovery Animal Scanopedia Secret Stylin' Doodle Bear
  Disney Princess Learn to Write Smurfs Figures
  FunPrint Drawing Book Spike the Ultra Dinosaur
  Green Eggs and Ham Tinker Toy Construction Set
  Haba Ball Track Construction Set Ty Girlz
  Hess Toy Truck Wikki Stix
  Hi Ho Cherry-O Yo Baby Action Board
  Hungry, Hungry Hippos Zome Tools Adventurer Kit

6-8 years By now play has become more complex and is dominated by games that involve competition and explicit rules that stress fair play and satisfy social and intellectual challenges. This type of play builds self-esteem that is so important to middle childhood. It also reinforces thinking, strategizing, and logic.

Ace Flyer Airplane Double Teeter-Totter Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker
Angelina Ballerina Go Bananas
Bakugan Battle Brawlers Guess Who?
  Battleship Hyper Dash
  Bubble Popping Keychain Pleo the Dinosaur
  Car Design Studio Kit Pretty Pretty Princess
  Chinese Checkers QB A-Maze
  Connect Four Rush Hour
  Dueling Racers Spy Gear Signal Launcher
  Enchanted Garden Stones Suds
  Fleece and Flower Picture Pillow Suncatchers Stained Glass Kit
  Fractiles 7 Transformers Ultimate Bumblebee
  Friends Forever Girls Trouble
  Georello 3D Gear Tech Twister
  Georello Kaleidogears Uno

also see in Toy Reviews -> Toys for Boys | Toys for Girls

9-11 years At this point kids play decisions are more influenced by their peers. Family games provide children and their parents with shared activities to continue bonding. Board games like chess and checkers provide opportunities for children to enhance strategy and reasoning skills, while card games encourage awareness of mathematics.

Arrowcopter Monopoly
Beyond Chess Operation
Eyeclops Bionicam Risk
  Eyeclops Night Vision Scrabble
  Lazer Tag Multiplayer Battle System Sequence
  Life Stardoll
  Mancala Triple Action Solar Car Kit
  Millsberry XPV R.A.D. Flying Robot

12-14 years The concept of play changes dramatically at this stage of life, and manifests itself as competitive games and sports as well as other play events that foster social contact. Computers and video games are a major pastime here but board games remain a great group activity.

Trivial Pursuit  

15+ years Shopping for computers, texting on their cell phones, and playing video games are some of the favorite pastimes of older kids but they still want to get outdoors and play, just on a different level. Hacky sack, Frisbee, and team sports are a few. Parents should always encourage physical activity especially if your teen is not active in school sports. Competitive or laughter-inducing board games keep these older kids playing.


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