Toys are an instrumental part of child development, helping them better understand the world in a safe and fun way. According to child psychologist Jean Piaget, young kids learn about the world through their own experiences and not from what adults teach them.
With time though, a child’s interest in toys should naturally end or get sublimated towards other activities. The question is, at what age do kids stop playing with toys?
There is no specific answer to this question because all kids are different. However, studies show that most kids start neglecting their toys when they hit double-digit. According to a study conducted by Lets Play, the main reasons for this is lack of time and technology. School demands increase around that age, and there are plenty of organized activities after classes, leaving children with no time to play.
65% of the parents surveyed in that study also said their pre-teens preferred playing with technology instead. With the rise of YouTube, TikTok and all these fun apps around, it’s no surprise that kids would pick technological gadgets over toys. Boys also spent more of their free time playing video games with their friends or watching games.
If that survey is anything to go by, it’s clear that kids don’t actually stop playing with toys. What they do is switch up their childish toys for more age-appropriate ones. Toys serve a role in each developmental stage, and teenagehood is no different.
When your child is a pre-teen, the wooden toy cars, dolls, and Legos no longer meet their cognitive demands.
But is technology the solution?
Sometimes. However, many studies show the adverse effects of children spending too much time with screens. Instead, you can buy them toys that meet their emotional and cognitive needs at that age.
Advanced structural puzzles like this Wooden DIY Dollhouse Model 3D Puzzle can develop the mind of a pre-teen and even teenagers better than TikTok. Since kids at this age are also more driven by peer pressure and hanging out with their friends, buy them stuff that encourages social play. Perhaps this means getting them more art or music activities, video games, movies, or whatever interests them.
If they like basketball, get them a shooting hoop or bats if they like baseball. Let your child take charge of their leisure time as long as it’s appropriate.
Toys will always play a role in human development. They provide an avenue to learn, relax, have fun and socialize. The idea is to let your child lead the way and show you what kind of toys they like at every age.