If you have a new toddler on your hands, you are no doubt kept on your toes day in and day out. You are probably overwhelmed by the toy choices on the market nowadays as well. I have been sucked into the media hype as well and have bought numerous toys because they do all kinds of fun things to entice a young child’s mind. It turns out, the simplest things usually keep their attention more than anything fancy toy you could buy. Here are my top ten toys for toddlers.
1. Blocks-wooden or plastic, these have been around for decades and are still a great investment for a young child. It encourages motor skills and later on, imagination as they can use them for just about anything they dream up. They are sturdy and easy to clean as well.
2. Big, Big Ball-you see those huge plastic balls in all the stores and kids just love them. They’re easy to play with and you can use them inside or outside year round. It is fun to throw, bounce, or kick and again, it helps little ones develop their motor skills and coordination.
3. Shape sorters-just a simple box or ball with several different shaped holes can keep a toddler busy for quite a while. A great one will have a little door that the child can open to get the shapes out of themselves. It helps them learn about shapes and manipulation of the blocks to get them in the holes. Another great toy for boosting brain power.
4. Crayons and paper-the possibilities are endless when you place a crayon in the hand of a toddler. They love to makes lines and circles and just scribble until their hearts’ content. You can help by drawing different pictures as well and teaching them about what you drew. Later on, you can start introducing letters and numbers as well. You can even move this activiity outside if you get some sidewalk chalk.
5. Playdough-kids love the way it feels squishing between their fingers. You can make all kinds of fun things with playdough and it’s non-toxic so it’s safe for the little ones as well.
6. Peek-a-blocks and Roll-arounds-from Fisher Price, they have several different sets that kids just can’t get enough of. They are fun to look at, listen to and feel and later on they can start naming what’s inside. They also have several toys that the blocks and balls can use but on their own they are a great toy.
7. Board books with flaps-children this age are little sponges and reading is such a wonderful activity to bond with your child. These types of books are great for interaction too. They have so many available nowadays that you and your little one can spend hours lifting flaps and learning about the world.
8. Rocks-this may sound strange, but just going outside and getting some good old rocks can be great fun for your toddler. The best part is that they’re free! Rocks are all so different in shape, texture, color, and size that kids can have tons of fun with them. Bring a bucket with you and they’ll love putting them in and taking them out. They can build things with them as well. Once they get older, you can even get some paint and make silly faces or pretty designs for the holidays and use them as decoration.
9. Stacking cups-a very simple and inexpensive toy but it can provide hours of entertainment for a budding mind. The colors are usually vibrant, they can take them apart, put them together, stack them and knock them down at a whim. They’re great for teaching kids about colors and size.
10. Beadboards-you see them in waiting offices all over, but they make smaller versions you can afford as well. These are the little wire beadboards with the different colored and shaped beads that kids love sliding around. These keep the attention of any small child and help with their coordination. They tend to love the noise as well.
As you can see, all of these toys are readily available, inexpensive, and can really stimulate your little one’s brain and coordination. They also present great opportunities for you to bond and interact with your child as well. Enjoy!