Thursday, 24 November 2016

One Hundred Toys: Open Ended Toys for 0-5 Years

Recently, I stumbled across One Hundred Toys, a website aiming to introduce parents to the 100 toys, games and experiences that all children aged 0-5 should be able to enjoy.

The part of the One Hundred Toys philosophy that interests me the most, especially while trying to reduce our possessions as part of the KonMari process, is that children should have fewer better toys. In light of that, I've had a look at the toys they recommend for different ages and distilled them into different types of toys. When you break it down, lots of the toys after the first 18 months are actually very similar, meaning you can build them up over time and still have minimal clutter.

I highlighted toys that were the same across multiple age ranges and added things such as books and musical instruments that I feel are important for children to experience.


0-6 months

  • grasping toy
  • rattle
  • baby gym
  • soft ball
  • soft books
  • play mat
  • mirror
  • mobile
  • teether
  • black & white imagery

6-12 months
  • grasping toy
  • rattle
  • baby gym
  • soft ball
  • soft books
  • play mat
  • mirror
  • mobile
  • teether
  • blocks
  • stacking bowls and toys
  • sensory activities - treasure baskets

12-18 months
  • blocks
  • stacking bowls and toys
  • board books
  • wooden cars/boats
  • musical instruments
  • chunky puzzles
  • sensory activities - treasure baskets

18-24 months
  • construction toys - blocks, duplo, wooden Grimm's type toys, stacking bowls and toys
  • board books
  • wooden cars/boats
  • musical instruments
  • picture puzzles
  • art materials - paper, crayons, glue stick, chunky brush, finger paints
  • role play - play food, doctor, dress up, baby doll
  • sensory activities - play dough, messy play
  • fine motor skills - pegs, threading
  • gross motor skills - balls, wands, ride on toys
  • small world play - wooden animals, trains, play people
  • outdoor play - sand/water play

2-3 years
  • construction toys - blocks, duplo, wooden Grimm's type toys
  • wooden cars/boats
  • musical instruments
  • picture puzzles
  • art materials - paper, crayons, pencils, chunky brush, chalk, finger paints, easel, sharpener, water colours
  • role play - playfood, doctor, dress up, baby doll
  • sensory activities - play dough, messy play
  • fine motor skills - pegs, threading, colour sorting
  • gross motor skills - balls, wands, ride on toys/scooters
  • small world play - wooden animals, trains, dolls house, play people
  • outdoor play - sand/water play, minibeast magnifier
  • puzzles and games - number/letter/matching/sequencing
  • picture books

3-4 years
  • construction toys - blocks, duplo, wooden Grimm's type toys
  • wooden cars/boats
  • musical instruments
  • picture puzzles
  • art materials - scissors, paper, crayons, pencils, chunky brush, chalk, finger paints, easel, sharpener, water colours, decorative items
  • role play - play food, dress up, doctor, baby doll, til (money)
  • sensory activities - play dough, messy play
  • fine motor skills - scissors, pegs, threading, sorting, shape tack
  • gross motor skills - balls, wands, scooters/balance bike
  • small world play - wooden animals, trains, dolls house, play people
  • outdoor toys - sand/water play, minibeast magnifier, gardening materials
  • puzzles and games - number/letter/matching/sequencing/story/rhyming
  • picture books
  • den making materials

4-5 years
  • construction toys - blocks, lego, wooden Grimm's type toys
  • wooden cars/boats
  • musical instruments
  • picture puzzles
  • art materials - scissors, paper, crayons, pencils, finer brushes, chalk, finger paints, easel, sharpener, water colours, decorative items
  • role play - play food, dress up, doctor, baby doll, til (money)
  • sensory activities - play dough, messy play
  • fine motor skills - scissors, pegs, threading, sorting, shape tack
  • gross motor skills - balls, wands, scooters/balance bike
  • small world play - wooden animals, trains, dolls house, play people
  • outdoor toys - sand/water play, minibeast magnifier, gardening materials, wood work
  • puzzles and games - number/letter/matching/sequencing/story/rhyming/time/phonics
  • picture books
  • card/board games
  • calendar
  • family tree
  • den making materials
Using this list, I hope to keep Baobao and Xiaobao's toys to a minimum. You might notice a lack of electronic toys, especially those with screens. There's evidence to show that play with open ended toys leads to greater language acquisition, as well as nurturing fantasy and imagination. 

Are there any toys I have missed? What open ended toys do you think are essential for ages 0-5?

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