Bright shiny toddler toys are like magnets. Toddlers cannot resist them. Their curiosity propels them to investigate, touch, taste, hold, lift, manipulate and experiment with any toy they come across.
This is good. By providing the right toys we can stimulate their imagination and creativity, help them develop their manual dexterity, their gross motor skills, their understanding of shapes and colors.
So as well as providing enjoyment and fun, toys can provide physical and educational benefits.
The choice of toys is vast.
So its a good idea to check off each individual toy against a simple list of potential benefits similar to the example list below.
Toy Checklist Example
Does using the toy develop fine or gross motor skills?
Will it help teaching colours or shapes?
Will it stimulate imagination or creativity?
Does it help in understanding the world we live in? Such as heavy or light, short or tall, small or large, rough or smooth, hard or soft.
Does it help teaching numbers or letters?
Will it assist in recognizing things in the world we live? Such as animals, vehicles, fruit or plants.
Will it assist in recognizing noises things make? Such as animal sounds, tool noises, vehicle noises.
Is it safe to use or could it be dangerous?
Choice of Toy
Because the choice is so large, manufacturers classify toys in many ways. Common categorisations are activity toys,
electronic toys, puzzles and games, and the classic outdoor toys such bikes, swings and trampolines.
Whatever the choice remember safety is a must, especially for young toddlers. Care must be taken in ensuring the toys are safe to play with. That there are no sharp edges or points, small parts that can be swallowed or cause choking, and that the paint applied is non-toxic.
A toy appropriate for the age of your child is best and it should comply with all US toy industry safety standards.
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