Choosing Developmentally Appropriate Toys A Parents Guide
Toddlers are explorers by nature, and they learn by doing. Play provides your child with a way to learn at his or her own pace and develop unique interests. While it may seem easy to choose toys for toddlers, a trip to a local toy store can leave any parent feeling overwhelmed.
Below, you’ll find some tips for selecting toys that will challenge your child, grow with them and nurture their overall development.
Choose Multipurpose Toys
The most popular toddler toys can be used in various ways. We all know that toddlers like to take things apart and put them back together. Choose open-ended toys that allow your child to play different games. For instance, interlocking or wooden blocks can be turned into a spaceship, a bridge or a road. These toys serve to spark a child’s imagination and they can aid in the development of logical thinking and problem solving skills.
Look for Adaptable Toys
Many parents have had the unfortunate experience of buying indoor climbing toys for toddlers, only to have the child play with it a few times and never touch it again. Protect against boredom and quick fade-out by choosing toys that can be used at different stages in your child’s development. For instance, plastic animals are fun for younger toddlers, while older kids can use them in pretend play. Great examples include plastic action figures, dollhouses, stuffed animals and the best toddler ride-on toys.
Find Toys That Encourage Kids to Explore and Solve Problems
During play, kids get the opportunity to sharpen newly-acquired skills. The best educational toys give kids the chance to figure things out, build critical thinking skills and learn how to solve problems. These toys help kids develop fine motor and spatial relation skills, and they can sharpen a child’s hand-eye coordination as well. Art materials, shape sorters and the best musical toys for kids are all great choices.
Give Them Toys That Look Like “The Real Thing”
Toddlers are great at figuring out how things work, and they love to play with parents’ phones, keys and other items. By buying kid-friendly versions of these toys, you can help your kids learn how to solve problems, develop their motor skills, and learn how things work together. Choose toy phones, dress-up clothing, child-size cleaning tools and plastic kitchen items for hours of pretend play.
Seek Out Activity Toys
Toddlers learn all sorts of tricks as they become stronger and develop body confidence. As a parent, it’s your job to be a captive audience for your kids’ latest achievements. Make the job easier by finding toys that help your kids learn new skills and sharpen those they already have. Great choices include playground balls, tricycle strollers, basketball hoops, wagons, play gardening tools and pull toys.
Be Skeptical of Toys That Promise to “Make Kids Smarter”
While these toys aren’t dangerous in and of themselves, manufacturers’ claims should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism. Most of these products haven’t been proven to increase a child’s IQ; in fact, safe household implements often make better learning tools. Keep in mind that the more a child has to use his or her body and mind to solve problems and develop new ways of doing things, the more they’ll learn and grow.
As parents, we all want what’s best for our kids—and that extends to buying them toys and wall decals for kids bedroom. By following the tips given here, you’re sure to find the right playthings at every stage in your children’s development.