Choosing toys for toddlers can be surprisingly overwhelming. An astonishing range of toys has been created specifically for the toddler market. Finding ones that are high quality, and able to support toddlers' early learning skills, can be rather tricky.
Follow these tips to help you select toys for your toddler that will engage them, grow with them and nurture their educational development.
Look for Toys that Suit a Variety of Purposes
A toddler loves activities involving taking apart, putting together, pulling out, putting in, adding on and building up. Toys that allow your child to play different games and are "open-ended" are ideal.
Chunky plastic blocks that interlock, or a set of different sized wooden blocks, can have dozens of purposes – they can be a road, a bridge, a zoo, castle, spaceship or whatever the child may imagine.
These toys help a toddler develop the important early learning skills of logical thinking and problem solving and offer a spark to their imagination.
Select from sets of blocks, nesting sets of cups or blocks and toys such as plastic buckets and spades for sand and water play.
Select Toys That Encourage Activity
Toddlers enjoy exploring and trying all kinds of physical activity as they become more confident in their growing control over their physical abilities and strength. Seek out toys that let your child practice their present physical skills and help them develop new ones.
Select from tricycles or three wheeled scooters and helmets, child-height basketball hoops, pull along toys on a string, wagons to pull and load, plastic bowling sets, gardening tools for digging and raking, and balls of all sizes and textures.
Choose Toys to Spark Creativity and Imagination
As they approach their third year, toddlers are able to begin engaging in role play. For example, they are able to imagine being someone else and play at being a king or princess. They can also use a block as a telephone, piece of cake or almost any object that is needed to suit the immediate scenario.
Acting out stories and using pretend play helps toddlers develop important skills for language and literacy development. It cultivates their problem solving aptitude and helps develop their ability to sequence events in logical order.
Select from plastic food sets, plates, cups and saucers, doll houses, tool sets, trains and trucks, stuffed animals, toy phones, brooms, dust pans and dress-up costumes.
In general, many of the toys on the shelves in the toy stores with all the flashing lights, batteries and repetitive sounds, unfortunately, do not usually make a good educational choice. They are usually designed to be used in only one way, and toddlers quickly lose interest in the limited interaction. For more information, contact a business such as Keep Learning Education.