Almost all toys have an age range, but we seldom follow it. Little R has toys that are 3+ or even 5+ at 2 years. What we observed early on is that as kids grow up they find different ways to play, explore and learn with the toy. Let me explain what I mean.
Little R has a musical train that can be dragged around with animals popping out of the top of it. This was one of the first toys she got from her aunt at 6 months. She was just sitting up at the time and she would hold on to the animals and lift herself up into sitting positions. Since the toy is quite colorful, she used to spend hours with it and kick up a storm, giggling and listening to the music. At around 8 months she was developing her motor skills by pushing the buttons. At around 10 months, she learnt about cause and effect when she saw the animal pop up when she pushed a button or twisted a knob. Again, at 14 months the toy made a come back when Little R started to drag the train around the house.. Now that she had mastered walking. 🙂 Now at 2 years, she still likes to play with it and the train takes part in pretend plays.
Similarly, we have a toy that Little R used as support to push herself up and stand when she was practicing standing up on her own at 12 months. When you have a toy that has always been with you, it becomes a yardstick to note how your child has grown.
Since these toys are associated with the child’s milestones they tend to hold a special place in the heart and I don’t think I would ever be able to give them away! I for one, have toys from my childhood and I can wait for Little R to play with them when we visit India next time.