Toddlers grow both physically and intellectually at incredible rates, but parents don’t need fancy flash cards and formal instructions to foster that development. All they need are a few interesting and engaging toys that can be used for ordinary, every-day play. The toddler stage is the perfect time to expose tiny tots to a wide variety of toys that will enable them to fine tune their fine and gross motor skills and expand their vocabularies. Are you looking for age appropriate toys for your toddler this Christmas? Here are a few fun suggestions that may interest your burgeoning toddler.
In the early stages of development blocks help toddlers pinch, grab and stack. In the beginning a child may only build a tower of two or three before watching it tumble, but after a bit of practice they will stack those blocks taller and taller. As children grow they will use blocks in a wide variety of ways. Small blocks can be turned into roads, pathways and houses while larger blocks can be transformed into forts and castles.
2. Train Tracks
When that first wooden train track is removed from the box odds are that mom or dad will need to design the layout and link the pieces, but nonetheless your toddler will love to run trains over those tracks over and over again. Tracks are even more exciting when you can design them with big dips and curves for those trains to roll over. In the beginning kids will simply push the train cars along the tracks, but eventually they will link the cars together and ultimately design their own elaborate track designs.
3. Art Supplies
From a very early age you can place a crayon in a child’s hand and watch them make their mark. If you are stumped for Christmas gifts crayons and construction paper are almost always a big hit with toddlers. If you have a large space where kids can get messy consider finger paints, paint brushes and even washable markers. If you are worried about your furniture getting ruined invest in a set of Wonder Color markers and paper. The marks will only appear on the special color wonder paper, not on clothing, furniture or anywhere else art is unwanted.
4. Pretend Play Toys
Pretend play toys include items like child-sized furniture; dress up clothes, dolls, shopping carts, baby doll strollers, tea sets, rakes and brooms. Your toddler will enjoy pretending that he is shopping in the grocery store or setting up tea for all of his stuffed animals. Little ones love to imitate their parents and play kitchens are particularly fun as children open the drawers to the cabinets, fridge and oven to prepare gourmet meals.
Children love to curl up in the warm lap of their parents to read a colorful book. The simple plots and illustrated pictures introduce children to various speech patterns and vocabulary. Books can help with language acquisition and spark back-and-forth communication as children point to various images and ask parents to define the pictures they see. It’s hard to go wrong with books as a gift. If you aren’t certain what to buy look through Amazon’s recommendations based on age. You will find many classics as well as fun new selections there.
6. Balls & Ride On Toys
Toddlers are incredibly active and children love the chance to kick, roll and throw a ball around the backyard with their siblings and parents. Balls help children learn hand eye coordination all while having a ton of fun. Ride on toys are another great option for helping your toddler increase his or her balance and coordination. Some toys should be used inside while others can be used out in the grass or driveway. In the beginning toddlers may just sit on the toy or push it backwards, but eventually they will understand how to move it in a forward direction.
Toddlers are so excited about life that it’s hard to choose the wrong gift for them. In fact, some will love the wrapping paper and bubble wrap just as much as the gift inside.