How To Choose Toys For Toddlers
Christmas is on the way, so it’s time to start thinking about what to buy as gifts for your children. You’d think that buying for toddlers is easy, but if you want your gift to aid in their early development as much as possible, you’ll have to put more thought into it. Here’s a list of factors to keep in mind when shopping for toddler’s toys this Christmas.
Toys That Will Grow With Them
Most parents know how it feels to buy a toy that becomes a favourite for a day or two and then is forgotten. It can be frustrating, especially when you think about how much money you’ve spent on it, and countless toys like it. Instead, look for toys that will be fun for your toddlers at different stages of their development. If you buy things that are perfect for their current developmental stage, they won’t be interested in it in three months. Examples of this include small figurines like plastic animals or action figures, stuffed animals and dolls, and trucks or cars.
Toys That Encourage Problem-Solving
Toys that encourage your toddlers to explore and solve problems allow them to practice their new skills. Educational toys that provide a challenge and a chance for your child to work out the solution to it – even with help – develop logic, spatial relation skills and problem-solving. Depending on the toy, they can even improve their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Try toys like puzzles, stacking blocks and cups, and toys that sort shapes.
Toys That Spark Their Imagination
From around three years old, toddler’s start showing their creativity skills, and their imagination. You’ll see this in how and what they play with, but roleplaying will be at the forefront of their games. Playing pretend improves language, social, literacy and problem-solving skills. And if they play with specific events playing out in their imaginations, they’re also developing logic, patterns and sequencing skills. For toys that spark the imagination, your options are almost limitless. You can use toy food, costumes and dress up, dolls, action figures, plush toys and dollhouses. Toy replicas of real-life items also stimulate the imagination, so look for toys like tools, cooking utensils and cars. These items encourage pretend-play, so while dad is doing yard work, your toddler can play nearby with his spades, buckets, and tools. Or, while mom is cooking, your toddler can bang on their pots and pans with a spoon. Getting involved in their imaginative play is important, and only stimulates it more.
Toys That Look Like The Real Thing
When I was a child, my dad gave me an old landline telephone that didn’t work anymore. It sat on my table where my arts and crafts were, and I would play office for hours, pushing buttons and chattering nonsense into a telephone. Toys that are – or look like – the real thing allow your children to take pretend-play to the next level. If they enjoy pushing the buttons on a television remote, find an old one and remove the batteries. They’ll have fun playing with something they see in real life. Other ideas include child-sized brooms, mops and dustpans, toy keys and musical instruments.
Toys That Encourage Reading
Books are never a bad gift idea for children, no matter how young they are. Toddlers should be introduced to storybooks and reading as early as possible. Although they can’t read just yet, you can find “getting ready to read” toys that nurture an interest in reading, as well as books. Some books for toddlers have pop-ups, buttons and sounds, as well as different textures. You can also buy magnetic alphabet letters for the fridge and small wooden letters that they can play with and arrange in their play area. Art supplies that stimulate writing is also a good idea, like markers, crayons and paints. They’ll develop their fine motor skills, as well as early reading and writing skills.
Toys That Encourage Active Play
When toddlers are growing, they need to become more active so that their bodies grow strong and healthy. You also want them to be more confident in their movements so that they develop quicker. Toys that encourage active play can include different sized balls, tricycles, pull toys like wagons or sledges and even gardening toys.
Toddler’s toys are easy to buy if you’re looking for something that will be fun or cute. However, developmental and educational toys are both fun and attractive to toddlers, with added advantages. Make sure to look for toys that will benefit your child’s growth, development, and learning this Christmas.