10 Functional and fun toys for kids of all ages
Finding the best functional yet fun toys for kids can be a challenge.
"Feeding a child's interest or a burgeoning talent is a great way to show a child that you are attuned to who they are and what they enjoy -- as well as to guarantee that the toy will be well-loved and used!" Laura Phillips, senior director of the Learning and Development Center at Child Mind Institute tells "Good Morning America."
Plus, "gift-giving is a great way to introduce children to new types of play that help to support different areas of their development," Phillips adds, noting that a child's age influences the types of toys that may be most beneficial.
For example, with infants and toddlers, focus on building up "the child's ability to perceive of and interpret a variety of sensory stimuli," Phillips says.
Whereas with a five to 8-year-old, board games can help encourage kids to "to think about relationships between words, and fosters their vocabulary and creativity."
To help you shop, "Good Morning America" lifestyle contributor Lori Bergamotto found some of the best toys for kids while considering childhood development in the process.
Check them out below!
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"This five-star walker with nearly perfect reviews is one of those toys that really grows with a baby," Bergamotto explains. "There's over 100 songs, melodies, and phrases -- great for young learners as they try to acquire language. If the baby is learning how to walk, this has controls where you can slow down or speed up the wheels -- which is key for toddlers."
"At this age, pretend play is paramount. Our expert says it can help them learn to problem-solve and navigate social conflicts. She also suggests looking for 'blank' toys -- ones that you can take in a ton of different directions," Bergamotto says. "We love how open-ended this toy is for that age group and how much you get for the price!"
"This beloved board game has over 35,000 positive reviews on the internet. It's like a rummy [and] poker board game mash-up and appeals to all ages. The goal is to create a pattern or, namely, a 'sequence' of five chips on the board. Our expert loves board games at this age, because they help foster the ability to follow directions, focus attention and persevere with strategies. Reviewers go wild for how much fun this is for the whole family and how engaging this game is!" Bergamotto says.
"If you're buying for a kid who is into singing (and, really, even if they're not -- who doesn't love to belt out their fave song?), we are all obsessed with these best-selling karaoke microphones sold at Maisonette," Bergamotto says. "They all connect to a Bluetooth device and some of them have voice changers, echo functions, different volume controls, and even dancing LED lights. At this age, their peers really matter to them and they're looking for social interaction, so 'toys' that foster the occasion to engage in this kind of social fun is a gift to the kids and a gift to their parents, too!"