How do you choose which gifts are suitable for your child? This article offers some ideas for choosing toys that will grow with your child, challenge them and develop their thinking, physical, language and socio-emotional skills.
Toddlers are little explorers who learn by doing. Play provides a great opportunity for your child to develop and practice new skills at their own pace by following their unique interests. The toys and play items that are available to your child can influence their development in important ways.
While it may seem like choosing toys for toddlers should be easy, when you walk into a toy store today the only thing easy is that you feel overwhelmed. There is a huge range of toys designed for the toddler market. How do you choose which one is right for your child? How do you know which ones are high quality and which ones last a long time? Which one will keep your child interested for more than a few days or weeks? Below are some ideas for choosing toys that will grow with your child, challenge them and support their overall development (thinking, physical, linguistic and socio-emotional skills).
Guidelines for choosing toys for toddlers
Choose toys that can be used in a variety of ways.
Toddlers love to take something apart, put it back together, pull it out, put it in, add to it and expand it. Choose toys that are “open” in the sense that your child can play a variety of games with them. For example, wooden blocks or rough plastic blocks can be used to build a road, zoo, bridge, or spaceship. Toys like this stimulate your child’s imagination and help them develop problem-solving skills and reasoning.
Look for toys that will grow with your child.
We have all had the experience of buying a toy that our child plays with for two days and then never touches it again. You can prevent this by looking for toys that can be fun at different stages of development. For example, small plastic animals are fun for a young toddler who can use them to build a shoebox house, while an older toddler can use them to act out a story they made up.
Examples : plastic animals and action figures, dollhouses suitable for small children, trains and dump trucks (and other vehicles), stuffed animals and dolls. You can buy it all at The Best Toy store in Malaysia.
Choose toys that encourage exploration and problem-solving.
Play gives children the opportunity to practice new skills over and over again. Toys that give children the chance to find out something for themselves – or with a little help – encourage logical thinking and help them become persistent problem solvers. They also help children develop spatial relationships (understanding how things fit together), hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills (using the small muscles in the hands and fingers).
Examples : puzzles, shape sorters, building blocks, nest building blocks or cups, art materials such as clay, paint, crayons or play dough