Provide a kid a new toy — nearly every toy — and chances are, you’ve got a happy kid. Young children generally aren’t fussy as it pertains to baby toys and kids playthings, but parents should be.
Small children are little explorers who learn by doing. Play offers your child a great possibility to develop and practice new skills at her own pace by following her unique passions. The toys and playthings your child has open to her can condition her development in important ways.
Although it may seem like choosing toys for small children should be easy, as you head into a toy store today, the thing that’s easy is feeling overwhelmed. There’s a huge array of toys which have been developed for the young child market. How do you choose that are right for your son or daughter? How can you tell that are high quality and that will last? Which will employ your child’s interest for lots of days and nights or weeks? Here are ideas for choosing playthings that will grow with your child, problem her, and nurture her overall development (her pondering, physical, language and social-emotional skills).
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Recommendations for Choosing Playthings for Toddlers
Choose toys you can use in a variety of ways.
Toddlers want to take apart, put back together, grab, put in, increase, and build-up. Choose playthings that are “open-ended” in the sense that your son or daughter can play a variety of games with them. For instance, wooden blocks or chunky vinyl interlocking blocks may be used to make a highway, a zoo, a bridge, or a spaceship. Playthings such as this spark your child’s creativity and help him develop problem-solving and rational thinking skills.
Samples: Blocks, interlocking blocks, nesting blocks or cups, and toys for sand and normal water play
Look for toys that will grow with your son or daughter.
We all experienced the experience of buying a toy our child plays with for two days and never touches again. You may protect from that by looking for toys that may be fun at different developmental levels. For instance, small plastic family pets are fun for a toddler who may make a shoebox house to them, while a mature toddler may use them to do something out a tale she accocunts for.
Examples: Clear plastic toy animals and action numbers, toddler-friendly dollhouses, trains and dump pickup trucks (and other vehicles), stuffed pets or animals and dolls
Select figures that encourage exploration and problem-solving.
Play offers children the opportunity to practice new skills over and over again. Toys that provide kids an opportunity to body something from their own-or with a little coaching-build their rational pondering skills and help them become persistent problem-solvers. In addition they help children develop spatial relationships skills (focusing on how things fit mutually), hand-eye coordination, and fine electric motor skills (using the tiny muscles in the fingers and hands).
Cases: Puzzles, shape-sorters, blocks, nesting blocks or cups, art materials like clay, paint, crayons or play-dough
Look for toys and games that spark your child’s thoughts.
Throughout your child’s third year, his imagination is actually removing as he is now in a position to take on the role of another person (such as a king) and suppose something (such as a block) is in fact another thing (such as a piece of cake). Search for toys that your son or daughter can use as he evolves and functions out testimonies. Pretend play builds dialect and literacy skills, problem-solving skills, and the capability to sequence (put occasions in a logical order).
Good examples: Dress-up clothing, blocks, toy food and clear plastic plates, action information, stuffed animals and dolls, trains and trucks, toddler-friendly dollhouses, toy tools, and “real-life” accessories like a wrapping paper tube “open fire hose” for your little fireplace fighter. The all-purpose large cardboard field is always a major hit for toddlers and it is free. (Call an equipment store about picking up one of their refrigerator bins). Bins become properties, pirate boats, barns, tunnels-anything your child’s thoughts can come up with!
Give your child the opportunity to play with “real” stuff-or toys that appear to be genuine.
Your toddler gets good at determining how things in her world work-like television remotes or light switches. She actually is also considering using your “real” products, like your cell phone, because she actually is eager to be big and able like you. Gadgets such as this help children problem-solve, learn spatial relations (how things fit alongside one another), and develop fine engine skills (use of the small muscles in the hands and fingers).
Examples: Plastic food and food, toy secrets, toy mobile, dress-up clothes, music musical instruments, child-size brooms, mops, brushes and dustpans
Toss in a few “getting ready to read” toys.
Books, magnetic alphabet letters, and art equipment like markers, crayons, and fingerpaints help your child develop early writing and reading skills. “Real-life” props like take-out menus, catalogs, or journals are fun for your son or daughter to check out and play with and also build familiarity with letters, word, and print.
Seek out playthings that encourage your son or daughter to be working.
Small children are doing a myriad of physical tricks because they are stronger and more confident with their bodies. Your task is usually to be an appreciative audience for your little one’s hottest playground achievement! Look for playthings that help your son or daughter practice current physical skills and develop new ones.
Illustrations: Balls of different shapes and sizes, tricycles or three-wheeled scooters (with appropriate protective items), plastic material bowling collections, child-size basketball hoop, pull-toys (e.g., toys that your son or daughter can pull over a string), wagon to fill and yank, gardening tools to dig and rake with, moving boxes (open up at both ends) to make tunnels to crawl through
Look for toys that nurture cross-generational play.
While adults and children can play just about anything together, there are some gadgets that are created for adult participation. As your son or daughter approaches years 3 and beyond, early board games-that entail using one’s memory or simple board games that not require reading-are fun for those ages to learn. Consider starting a “family game night time” when all of you play together. Board games encourage counting, matching, and storage area skills, as well as tuning in skills and self-control (as children figure out how to follow the guidelines). They also nurture vocabulary and relationship-building skills. Another important gain is coaching children to be gracious winners and exactly how to handle losing.
Common Questions on Choosing Toys for Toddlers
What exactly are the great things about sounds, lights, and music?
Many, many playthings for toddlers are ablaze with keys, levers, equipment and lighting, music, etc. Often these playthings are promoted as “developmental” because the toy has a wide variety of functions. Unfortunately, this often gets the reverse effect for the kid. A lot more a toy does, the less your son or daughter has to do. If your son or daughter can sit and watch the toy “perform,” then it is likely more engaging than educational. Furthermore, these playthings can be puzzling to a kid who is learning cause-and-effect. If a toy arbitrarily starts playing music, or it is unclear which button made the equipment and lighting start flashing, in that case your child is not learning which of his activities (the cause) produced the equipment and lighting and music (the result). In short, the most readily useful playthings are those that require the most action for a kid. The more children have to utilize their thoughts and bodies to make something work, the more they learn.