Colorado Springs, Colorado (NAPSI) - Finding the toy or book that's right for your child may be easier than you realize. The key is to find one that is a good fit for the child's level of development.

To help, here are some tips from Dr. Jody LeVos, Learning Designer at LeapFrog:

Selecting Books

• For Babies and Toddlers: For this age group, books must be durable. Board books and books made with plastic or washable cloth allow the inevitable book-in-mouth occurrence. Colorful illustrations with high-contrast images appeal to this age group, and it's not surprising that so many books for this age feature images of faces—babies love them. Finally, it's helpful to find books that prompt participation.

• For Preschoolers: At this age, children are learning about their feelings, preferences and roles through their experiences with family and friends. Look for books about everyday life and childlike characters. Choose books on academic subjects to help prepare your child for school.

• For Kindergartners And First Graders: Look for a book that builds on your child's interests and passions. Digital reading experiences are perfect for this age range, such as LeapFrog's Tag Reading System.

Selecting Toys

• For Babies and Toddlers: At one year, find play experiences that foster curiosity about objects and environments. Move on to toys that explore basic academic skills such as colors and shapes. Also, introduce more sophisticated playthings such as foam puzzles and blocks, clay and dough.

• For Preschoolers: Find toys that consist of multiple parts that can be grouped in various ways, such as blocks that differ in shape, size and color, and games that require turn-taking.

• For Kindergartners: Find toys that require some setup or construction, and games that involve multiple steps. Books, maps, puzzles and figurines can support children's growing interests, foster questions and deepen their appreciation for their favorite topics.

• For First Graders: Look for toys that require symbol use, such as letters, numbers and icons with instructions, and educational video games, such as those available for LeapFrog's LeapPad2 and LeapsterGS.

LeapFrog is a leader in educational entertainment for kids and the recipient of more than 1,200 industry and parent awards.

To find books and toys that follow these guidelines, visit