Choosing the right educational toddler toys can be an overwhelming and difficult proposition. There are millions of toddler toys in the world, hundreds of new ones hit the stores each year.
But, I’m hoping, this guide to choosing the right learning toys for toddlers can help clear up those muddy waters for you.
Toys are fun and a very important part of any child’s development, and as parents it’s our job to offer them to our children.
Young children generally aren’t picky when it comes to toys. Give them a new one, almost anything, and chances are they will be happy. Heck, my kids even play with the toy boxes sometimes.
But parents need to be picky! In addition to choosing the right educational toddler toys, you have to be sure that you know how to find safe toddler toys!
And then there’s thinking about developing motor skills, improving hand-eye coordination, working on problem solving skills and fine motor skills. ALL. THE. SKILLS.
And don’t forget to incorporate science, technology, and engineering. Because it’s not good if it’s not STEM!
Oh. My. Gosh.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. You CAN live your life and provide toddlers that your kids can enjoy and learn from too.
These tips for packing learning experiences into your kiddos’ play time is absolutely do-able with these easy tips in mind.
Educational Toddler Toys
Toys are way more than just playthings. Toys should be fun, age-appropriate, stimulating learning activities, and safe. There is no real definition of the term “educational toy”.
However, to me, an educational toy is a toy that helps a child learn something good, something that will help in the future.
When choosing age-appropriate educational toys for your toddler keep these tips in mind.
Keep It Simple
Toddlers are learning to use their imaginations. Providing them with toys that don’t do too much allows them to use it.
Monday their baby is a patient and they are the doctor. Tuesday that same baby doll is their baby and they are feeding it dinner.
The possibilities are endless and it doesn’t take a some magical set that includes anything in particular. Just a baby and some basic, general items.
When toddlers are given too many toys, they have a real hard time picking one and focusing on it.
Rotate toys in and out of their toy box. Pack away a favorite toy and reintroduce it in a few weeks. The toy will feel fresh and new and your toddler will play with it longer and more often.
There is no need for a toy box filled with 100 toys if they only can play with 3 or 4 at a time. Plus, this cuts down on cleaning time for mom and dad.
Just take those wooden blocks and put them away, then bring them back in a couple weeks, seriously.
The Messier The Better
Buy a cheap plastic table-cloth, toss it over your table, and let them play, mo matter the kids’ ages! Seriously, even older kids benefit form having messy play.
Finger paints and Play-Doh can be used by toddlers with parental supervision and they help with both fine and gross motor skills, whether your child is 12 months or 18 months or 7 years old.
Having lots of tools for Play-Doh so they can manipulate the play dough is the easiest way to keep them interested.
Mamma OT offers some great tips on how to introduce toddlers to Play-Doh with out frustrating yourself.
Follow The Age Recommendations, Kinda
Whether they’re Fisher Price or Melissa & Doug, almost all toddler toy packaging includes a recommended age range on the front of the box. The age range on the box is only a suggestion.
Use the information on the box as a general guide for narrowing down toy options.
You know your child’s skills and development levels the best. It’s your job to decide if they are ready for that toy.
Make sure you look over any printed warnings that are also listed on the package to decide if there any risks that would make the toy inappropriate for your child, like small parts that are choking hazards.
Just remember, the main goal when choosing an educational toy is to make sure that toy will offer hours of fun time and relaxation for your toddler. As long as they are having fun and learning or trying new things – the toy is doing its job.
More Resources for Toddler Toys:
The Learning Journey Lift & Learn Colors & Shapes
TOYK Kids toys Musical Colorful Baby Fun House, Many Kinds Of Music
TOYK Baby Toys – Dancing Hip Hop Goose -Super Fun Toy