Basic Gear for Early School Age Kids
What to Expect Developmentally.
Learning Through Play. During the early school years as children begin their formal education, play continues to be an important path to learning. Now more complex games, puzzles and crafts offer children satisfying ways to practice and reinforce the new skills they are acquiring in the classroom.
Dexterity and Problem-Solving Ability. School age kids have the dexterity to handle more elaborate building toys and art materials. They are curious about how things work and take pride in making settings that can be used in play, crafts that can be worn or displayed with pride.
Active Group Play. These early school years are very social time when kids long for acceptance among their peers. Bikes and sporting equipment or the current hot toy take on new importance as the social ticket to being one of the gang. Children try their hands at more formal team sports where being an able player is a way of belonging.
Independent Discovery. Although these are years when happiness is being with a friend, children also enjoy and benefit from solo time. Many products on our lists are good tools for developing such self-sufficient and satisfying learning skills.
Basic Gear Checklist for Early School Years (Five to Eight Years)
*Dolls/soft animals, puppets
*Two-wheeler with training wheels
*Water paints, markers, stampers, color pencils
*LEGO and other construction toys
*More elaborate Miniature setting: dollhouse, castle, fort, airport, space, etc.
*Electronic games/learning machines(talking globes, etc)
*STEM toys (Science experiments, math games, elaborate ball runs, programming games, etc.)
*Puzzles (35-50-100 piece puzzles)
Toys to Avoid with Early School Years (Five to Eight Years)
These toys pose a safety hazard:
*Chemistry sets that can cause serious accidents
*Plug-in toys that heat up with lightbulbs and can give kids serious burns
*Audio equipment with volume controls that can’t be locked
*Projectile toys such as darts, rockets, B-B guns, or other toys with flying parts that can do serious damage
*Super-powered water guns that can cause abrasions
Toys with small parts if there are young children in the house (Set up a special place for working these)
*TV show merchandise with themes of violence.
The following is developmentally inappropriate:
*An abundance of toys that reinforce gender stereotypes: for example, hair play for girls and gunplay for boys.
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