Educational toys for toddlers are a crucial part of children’s development. Play helps children learn and grow by harnessing their creativity and imagination. This in turn can boost their self-confidence and wellbeing.
But what are the qualities that make up a good plaything? Often the simplest of objects can be the most rewarding for kids (we all know a child who would rather play with the box than the object itself) – but why?
This article explains what to look for in educational toys for toddlers.
Some of the things children can learn during play are:
Looking for playthings which encourage these are ideal – for example, blocks allow kids to learn placement, sizing, colour, problem-solving, numbers and sequencing.
Certain playthings have a longer lifespan than others. Lifespan refers to how long a child will be kept entertained by an object. Try to choose playthings that they won’t get bored of, ones which have multiple uses and allow them to exercise their creativity and imagination. Things like blocks and marble sets are ideal as they can be adapted and played with differently each time. Musical instruments, too, are good in this way.
Encourages physical activity
Not only do kids love being active, but it’s good for their health, too! Educational toys for toddlers which encourage them to get active are great options and are long-lasting. Consider playthings like trampolines, balls, play tents, tricycles and bubbles.
Practical and durable
Kids can be pretty rough and messy as they go about exploring the world around them. So it’s important to provide them with educational toys for toddlers which won’t break easily and are safe to use. Giving a child a tea set made of porcelain is obviously a recipe for disaster. Suitable materials include wood and plastic. You may want to opt for an eco-friendly and recyclable material.
Arty and hands-on
Kids love getting their hands dirty, so things like paint, crayons and play dough are ideal for them. They are also a great way to encourage them to be creative and develop spatial awareness. Just make sure you don’t buy them anything too small that they could accidentally choke on, like beads.
Social skills are an important component of children’s development. Help them to flourish by inviting some young ones over to your house and providing them with some educational toys for toddlers. Things which encourage communication and imagination are good; consider kitchen or tea sets, dress-up clothes, pretend medical kits or telephones. Playthings that allow for imitation of real life are good as they can prepare them for the grown up world a little.
Books are also great educational toys for toddlers. They encourage linguistic and social learning, especially when you read to them regularly. Make sure to keep books in good condition so that the kids learn to respect them. For very young children you might want to start with a durable material like cardboard to prevent the books from being torn or nibbled on. Books which provide multisensory stimulation in the form of different textures (e.g. a farm animal book that lets you pet a fluffy duck) are also great for youngsters just beginning to read.
There are many things to look out for when shopping for educational toys for toddlers. Keep in mind that you don’t have to spend tons of money on new playthings; often the simplest of objects such as shoe boxes and plastic cups can provide hours of entertainment and creativity.