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Toys for Pre-Teens

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 21 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Children's Toys Pre-teen Toys Girls Toys

As children start school and make friends, they start to become more sociable and enjoy games and activity toys that they can share with friends, and play with the whole family – yes, even their siblings! Children’s toys for pre teens reflect this, as well as their developing motor skills and intelligence.

Which Children’s Toys Are Best For Developing Social Skills?

Some children’s toys and games that help to boost children’s social skills are the perennially popular card and board games – some of them have probably been around since their parents were young too!

Playing games that involve other people is a great and a fun way to enhance your child’s social capabilities. The advantages of these simple children’s toys is that most of them are portable so they appeal to children who might want to play at home – or take them out to friends’ homes and parties – even school.

Try games designed for the correct age groups – kids’ simple card games, classic games like dominoes and draughts, or favourites like connect four.

Combining sociability with activity is always a bonus, so encourage them with fun pre-teen toys like skipping ropes, ice/roller skates, bicycles and ride on children’s toys – even playing hide-and-seek. These kinds of activity toys and games will help with children’s physical development, keeping them fit while enjoying the company of friends.

Developing Their Imagination with Pre-Teen Toys

Following on from nursery age children who love to pretend and play at make believe with children’s toys which let them use their imagination; younger pre-teens also love pretend play.

It’s always great to encourage this with appropriate children’s toys – dressing up kits are a popular choice for budding doctors and nurses, or maybe girl’s toys such as kitchen sets, or tool kits for boys. Or you could mix it up a bit and encourage girls to play with a mechanic set and boys to learn to help in the kitchen...there’s no reason why they can’t learn both!

Should I Choose Different Girls Toys and Boys Toys?

This is up to the individual child and of course your own personal choice. But there’s no reason why a boy can’t play with traditional girls toys as well as the pretend baking set, so one day he can be playing with action figures and the next pretending to bake a cake.

The same applies to girls toys – by all means buy the fashion dolls and baby dolls...but don’t let that stop you sneaking in the occasional boys toys like a make believe tool set or train set.

Developing Children’s Motor Skills With Activity Toys

By the time most children have got to school age, their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills are getting better. Make the most of their developing abilities with fun craft sets, construction kits and any pre-teen toys that allow them to explore their creativity and think for themselves.

At this age, children start to develop their own hobbies and interests, so you could find that children’s toys that appeal to these are appreciated. Drawing and colouring sets for older children with an artistic leaning are a good idea, as are model kits and anything that enables a child to have an ‘end result’ of their play. Traditional construction kits like Lego and Meccano are ideal for this age group, too.

Improving Brain Power With Children’s Toys

With a smart choice of children’s toys, it’s possible to have fun and boost intelligence at the same time. Discovery sets that look at the human body, allow kids to study worms (lovely) and create scientific experiments are usually popular, and there is a vast selection of ‘educational games’ available to appeal to your child’s area of interest.

Puzzles and brain teasers are good for this age group too, with anything from simple (and not so simple) jigsaw puzzles, cube puzzles, and even brain teasing word and number puzzles all designed to make your child think and play at the same time.

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