The Best Educational Toys for Toddlers
Toys are an important part of a child’s life. Toddler toys provide many opportunities for fun. But they also help kids learn, develop their senses, discover how things work, and much more.
Kids learn more quickly during early childhood than at any other time in life.
Research shows that:
• The brain develops through experiences (so first experiences are the most important)
• A young child’s brain gathers information through the senses
• Daily stimulation at home and early learning settings are vital for normal brain development
To help your child develop and learn, encourage free play and hands-on experiences. Give your child various toddler toys.
Also, play and bond with your toddler often. Studies show that a warm relationship between children and their caregivers is key for a healthy and productive life.
The Importance of Free Play
Toddlers learn through play and hands-on experiences. Unstructured play benefits the toddler’s development in so many ways:
• It encourages problem-solving skills
• It helps kids gain social and emotional skills
• Helps kids develop language
• Boosts their fine and gross motor skills
When toddlers learn through play, they follow their natural interests. Free play allows kids to better understand the world around them and to think outside the box. It can also spark your child’s imagination and teach them independence and responsibility.
Also, toddler toys can help children develop empathy and emotional control. They can teach kids about social rules and how to solve conflicts.
Here are some of the best toys that can promote your child’s development.
Toys that Promote Cognitive Skills in Toddlers
Toys that encourage problem-solving skills are a great choice for a two-year-old.
To promote problem-solving and encourage toddlers to make connections, buy toys such as:
• Shape sorters
• Nesting cups
Moreover, to help your child get ready for school, provide toddler toys that encourage counting and numeracy, like the following:
• The wooden abacus
• Stacking rings
• Wooden blocks and puzzles, etc.
Provide art and sensory toys for your child to hold and manipulate as these toys can boost memory and problem-solving skills and improve the brain’s development.
Encourage your child to play with manipulative items such as:
• Squeeze bottles
• Modeling clay
• Pom poms
• Stickers, etc.
Toys for Toddlers that Boost Language and Speech Development
Books are the best way to promote language, literacy, and speech development in toddlers. Nurture reading culture in your home and provide children books. Enjoy reading these books together every day.
Also, buy your toddler toys for imaginative play, such as:
• Dolls and dollhouses
• Animal figurines
• Dress-up props
• Pretend food
• Doctor’s set
Such toys foster imagination, help kids understand language, and encourage speech.
Toddler Toys that Boost Physical Development
Toddlers love playing outside and use toys that encourage fine and gross motor skills.
To boost your child’s fine motor, provide manipulative toys, such as:
• Toy animals
• Pretend food
• Variable household items
Encourage outdoor play and provide outdoor equipment that promotes movement and muscle strength such as:
• Push and pull toys
• Balance beams
• Baseball or soccer toy sets
Encourage play that helps toddlers develop eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills.
Toys that Encourage Social and Emotional Development in Toddlers
Toddlers begin to develop self-awareness and egocentric thinking, so they may throw temper tantrums or refuse to share toys. however, this is a normal part of development.
Egocentric thinking involves the child’s difficulty to understand a viewpoint other than their own. Therefore, communication with other children and adults provides excellent grounds for your child’s social and emotional development. Through social interactions, children learn that other people may have a perspective different than their own.
Encourage unstructured play with doll playsets and dramatic play toys like play kitchens, doctor’s sets, farm sets, and similar toys that teach toddlers empathy, responsibility, cooperation, turn-taking, and impulse control.
Nurturing Curiosity and Independence
Children are naturally fascinated by the activities that follow their interests. Allowing your toddler to pursue their natural curiosity can boost problem-solving and critical thinking, help gain confidence, and more.
Make sure to:
• Provide a safe environment for your child’s independent play and learning
• Encourage your toddler to follow their interests and take safe risks
• Supervise your child’s play from a distance and ensure their play area is protected
Allowing toddlers to do things independently boosts self-esteem and confidence. It tells your child you believe that they are capable, which motivates them to adopt the same perception.