What kinds of developmental toddler toys should you be looking at?

BuddingScholars > Toddler

"Mommy, me a big kid!" insists your toddler who's convinced that adulthood is within grasp...

On this page, I'll try to give you some key information in choosing the right developmental toys for this age group.

Choosing the right developmental toy is no easy task. Then again, just trying to keep up with your 2 year old is no easy task either.

Either way, there should be two goals. One, to help your all grown up and mature toddler to develop. And two, to help make the time you spend with her that much more memorable and enjoyable, for both of you if possible.

Just What does "Developmental Toddler Toys" mean?

Taking into consideration of their developing gross and fine motor skills as well as their increasing need for independence, here are some elements of a toy that I suggest you look for. Keep in mind though, that if possible, choose toys that assist the child in the various facets of development for this age (fine motor skills, gross motor skills, sense of permanence, etc...)

A toy that allows for parental involvement.

Notice that the statement does not say "A toy that involves the parent." Instead, choose a toy (e.g., simple LEGO) where you can assist the child and play along with the child, but allows them to be able to play on their own.

This gives them the benefit of developing sense of independence and a sense of accomplishment (which contributes to good self-image and self-confidence).

Construction Toys

I know. I already kind of touched on this just above, but it's important to mention it in a different light. Various construction toys. Construction toys allow children to practice their fine motor skills. This is not the only benefit, however. Construction toys also involve children visually, textually and encourage creative thinking as well as develop problem solving skills.

Children must continually think, create, examine, evaluate, assess and problem-solve in order to successfully build various structures with these toys. And this is why this category of toys are a classic favorite within developmental toddler toys.

Wooden Puzzles

Wooden puzzles (page under construction)allow children the pleasure of accomplishing the task of solving a puzzle, but without the parents worrying about puzzles pieces being bent, torn or damaged in other ways.

There are the regulars and ones that make sounds when pieces are correctly inserted such as the Melissa and Doug lines of wooden puzzles that are very high in quality with great graphics.

There are also other kinds of wooden puzzles worth taking a look at. The "Your Body" puzzle from Beleduc (page under construction) is done in 5 layers and shows the kids the various systems of the body (e.g., skin, muscles, organ, cardiovascular and skeletal).

Marble Runs

For those who seem to be ahead of the pack, a simple marble run might be a nice choice. Much like construction toys, a marble run will encourage the child to problem solve depending on how the run performs. There is a longer thinking process involved and the need for multiple adjustments.

Therefore, these are recommended for those who have the patience and will feel rewarded by watching something that they created run through to completion. For these advanced kids, marble runs from Quercetti (page under construction) might serve quite well. This Italian company is known for their marble runs that feature bright colours and good quality design and material. Keep in mind that you can always help out your toddler when beginning to work with marble runs, but encourage them to explore on their own and to try new ideas.

This doesn't mean that you should leave them on their own and go do your things. In the time that you have set aside to spend with her, give him/her your full attention, but just let them do more on their own with you observing, talking or asking questions about their work/play.

Don't Forget About Activities

With all this talk of toys, it's easy to forget that kids need to play. In other words, activities of one form or another. In the end, it doesn't matter what toys they have or don't have, but what they do.

For example, it doesn't matter how many sets of magnetic letters you buy for your toddler. It's playing things like alphabet games that make the difference.

There are many great activities you can do with a toddler. Some require parental involvement and some don't. Some require a computer and some don't. Some require preparation and some don't. Some....

You get the idea.

Check out these pages for ideas on toddler activities and toddler friendly websites (page under construction).

Keep in mind...

These developmental toddler toys are a great ways for you to start engaging your toddler more into higher level of thinking, but know that there are many more toys that will fit under the "developmental toddler toys" category depending on your her interests and strengths.

In fact, there are a whole new generation of unique toddler toys that are being spun off as if they were going out of style by some of the manufacturers. Have a look at that page for guidelines for next time you go toy shopping.

Try to keep an out eye open for their ever-changing interests and try to match the activities to them. This way, you're sure to get more out of them and your time with them.

"education at play"

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