How to choose toys for toddlers?
Photo by Tanaphong Toochinda on Unsplash
Nothing beats play when it comes to helping your child learn new skills and discover things. That’s why it’s imperative that their play toys are fit for their age, needs, and learning.
Unfortunately, most parents don’t consider if the toys they get their children are good enough to positively shape their development. And with so many toys in the market, it’s easy for you to pick just any toy for your little one.
So, how do you ensure that you buy the right toy for your toddler? Here are a few tips that will help you choose wisely.
Buy toys that look like the real thing
Your toddler is at a discovery stage where they are figuring out the objects in her world and how things work. You’ll also notice that your child prefers playing with the real stuff in your homes, such as your phone or makeup kit.
Emily Williamson of Play Skills Toys explains, “Toys that look like real things help your child relate them to what they see in the real world.” By use of such toys, they can discover how things work. For instance, buying your toddler a toy phone can help them understand how a smartphone works. Examples of real-like toys you can get your child include handmade farm animal figurines, plastic food, and dishes, and dressing-up clothes.
Choose toys that will grow with your toddler
Buying a toy that grows with your child ensures that they continue using it beyond their toddler years. Such toys can be used during the different developmental stages by your child, and they are also friendly to your pocket.
Moreover, such toys ensure you don’t need to buy too many toys for your child that they may not even use. Remember, a few special toys that will grow with your child are more precious than having a load of toys that they don’t use.
Good examples of toys that can grow with your child include blocks, and vehicle toys, among others.
Choose toys that encourage creativity and discovery
Toys that allow your toddler to figure things out help them be creative and learn to be problem solvers.
Toys that help your toddler discover a new skill allow them to learn how to make things happen. For instance, a toddler who is just learning how to crawl will be fascinated by a ball that not only rolls away but also plays music. Your baby will be motivated to reach out for it even when it rolls away, which improves their motor skills.
Besides, toys that encourage creativity will spark your toddler’s imagination which is very important during these early years when they enjoy role-playing. Such toys, due to their ability to encourage your child to act out their imagination, also build their language skills.
Go for safe toys
Ensure the toys you buy are age-appropriate to avoid injuries when your child is playing with them. Carefully read the toy’s label to see if they are safe for your little one. For instance, if you’re buying them blocks, ensure the blocks aren’t too tiny that your toddler can put them in their mouth.
Toys that are too heavy or ones made from unsafe materials can also become a source of injury for your baby. Electrical and battery toys may pose a danger to your toddler if not used under an adult’s supervision.
Remember, at this developmental stage, your toddler will often put things in their mouth. Thus, it’s vital to ensure the toys you buy are big enough not to fit in your child’s mouth. The toy should also be strong enough to withstand chewing and being banged against objects.
Simple toys are the best
Toys that do too much hinder your child’s creativity. They also don’t give your child a chance to discover new things. For instance, a stuffed animal that talks, sings, and directs your child will take over play instead of letting your child direct their actions.
A toy that does everything can also be a distraction, making your child feel overwhelmed during play. On the other hand, simple classic toys such as blocks allow your child to discover something new and to be flexible.
Choose toys that encourage physical and mental activity
There is a growing concern about the high number of children that are obese. This has partly been caused by children being too passive during play. For instance, many toddlers spend hours indoors watching television or playing video games – and this has only increased due to quarantine as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you can, restrict the use of electronic devices in your home. To keep your child busy, buy them toys that promote active physical and mental play. Such toys encourage your child to think independently, focus on one task, and maintain a healthy weight.
Look for toys that encourage the participation of other children or adults
Get toys that your child can use with others to enhance their relationship-building skills. Multi-generational toys also teach your child cohesion, teamwork, and tolerance. They also nurture your child’s language skills as they will have to communicate with those they are playing with.
Your child will also have an easy time learning new tricks and skills from an older brother or sister. Playing with your child will also help you learn about their personality and get to their level which creates a bond between you and your child. For instance, a simple board game can be played by everyone in the family serving to bring the whole family together.
In closing, toys help your child discover new things and develop different skills. Hopefully, the next time you’re out shopping for a toy for your toddler, you’ll remember these tips to ensure you choose wisely.