Play is the work of a child. As a parent, you need to ensure your little one is working with the right toys for their age.
In order to pick the best toys, the most important factor to consider is your child’s current developmental stage. Any toy you pick should ideally support the development of a skill that your little one is already trying to master. For instance if your baby is standing without support, this might be the best time to buy a toy that can double up as a walker. If your toddler has just learnt to walk well, toys that encourage balance and coordination are great to introduce.
Toddlers, who are still pre-verbal, learn primarily through immediate sensory stimulation. Giving them exposure to objects that produce different sounds and have a variety of textures is necessary at this stage. You might want to restrict exposure to screens and noisy plastic toys, as they lead to over-stimulation which can lead to a cranky and fatigued baby.
So let us enhance their play time with positively stimulating toys that cater to at-least four of their senses at a time while still supporting their stages of development. Here is a list of learning toys for toddlers that were popular in 2016, and with good reason:
1. My Busy Town Box
Most toddlers need a lot of practice in order to develop their finger muscles and improve their fine motor skills. Playing with small toys that allow for a lot of smaller finger movements will not only strengthen their muscles but will also help with their hand-eye coordination. This toy not only improves motor control but also develops skills like problem solving, creativity and imagination. My Busy Town Box and many other similar toys are a great addition to any toddler’s toy collection.
2. Mega Bloks
While Lego is the ideal goal, it is probably best to start with blocks that are slightly bigger to avoid any choking mishaps. Mega Bloks, Duplo or any other large inter-linking blocks are great construction toys for toddlers. Don’t be fooled into thinking they are just for boys. Girls love construction blocks just as much as boys do and can build some fascinating structures out of their sheer imagination.
3. Plush Rainbow Toy Stacker
This is a toy for children who are not quite toddlers yet. The pre-toddler stage is even more sensory. Putting everything in the mouth is their way of exploring, discovering and trying to make sense of what the object is. These plush stackers are perfect for babies. Not only do they (eventually) teach size and color, each ring makes a different sound when rattled. Baby may not immediately start by stacking them, so in the mean time she will learn sound discrimination and enjoy tactile stimulation.
4. Leap Frog Phonics
For advanced toddlers, the Leap Frog Phonics Set is a must have. It makes learning phonics fun and also helps to make the drills a little less monotonous. Starting out with these toys will definitely give your little one an edge when they eventually do phonics in school. So if your little one takes to it, why not?
5. Razor Jr. Scooter
For little boys (or girls) who find it hard to sit still, try this scooter! It is great for teaching balance and cross-coordination. It also teaches them direction and spatial reasoning, which are advanced skills for a little one to have. These scooters are very safe, don’t topple over easily and are the perfect first step to learning how to ride.
6. Wooden Puzzles
If we look at the wooden puzzle category there is a plethora of educational toys and games waiting to be found. The range of wooden puzzle toys that are available today really is remarkable. They teach everything from shapes, colors, letters, numbers, size, hand eye coordination to counting. You know best what your kid would enjoy, so choose the one that fits his/her interests and get started!
We hope that you now have some idea of the types and categories of toys that would benefit your toddler at different stages. So get shopping – check out the range of educational toys and games for toddlers at aBaby today!