As a baby makes their way into the toddler years, their level of inquisitiveness skyrockets. Not only can they grasp things and make things happen but now they can move too! As soon as they start to toddle, whether it’s with the help of the furniture or completely independently, you need to remember that nothing is sacred. They will get into everything if you’re not careful and to try and keep them out of mischief, a good selection of toys is handy.
Play provides children of all ages with a chance to use their creativity and imagination, while also helping to develop key skills that they will need as they continue their journey. They also have the added benefit of keeping curious tots occupied and out of mischief! Knowing what toys are suitable to their age group is important, but even then, it can be incredibly daunting as you wander into a toy store that is bulging at its seams.
You need to make good choices of toys if you want to see the toys last rather than becoming a frivolous spend. Which toys are right? Which toys will last well? Which toys are suitable for their particular stage of development? Here are some answers and tips that might help you on your next toy shop spree:
Choose multi-functional toys
Toys that can be used in more than one way will provide plenty of variety that your child will need if you want them to continue to be engaged in the toy. Stacking cups are a great example of this, because not only can they be stacked and knocked over again and again, but they will also prove to be a great addition to sand or water play. They can even be used as tea party cups, to hide toys under and much more – who know such a cheap toy could have so many uses!
Problem solving toys
These will be a huge hit with toddlers because they will aid their concentration by encouraging them to solve problems. Shape sorters such as the Cookie Shape Surprise would be ideal, providing them with problems for them to figure out i.e. realising that the ‘shapes’ fit through the same shape hole. Music, sounds and lights add to the fun and encourage your child to keep trying until they get the right fit!
As your child grows, you will find that they will use their imagination more and more. Look for toys that will grow with your child, such as building blocks and play sets, which will help to spark their imaginations every time they use them.
Balance bikes, balls, tunnels, space hoppers – no matter what you choose, these will help their balance, co-ordination and physical development no end.
Games and puzzles
Providing them with games and puzzles that they can play with themselves, or play together with you, will help them to build social skills and improve their ability to share. Memory games will become incredibly popular as they grow, while jigsaws will aid their concentration and fine motor skills.
Whatever learning tools you choose, a good selection of them that cover all the aspects of child development will ensure that your toddler will continue to grow into a well-rounded pre-schooler – while having lots of fun, of course!