By age two, children are into everything and have well-established likes and dislikes – as they’ll remind you with a regular tantrum or three. They may be all about problem solving and doing things “all by myself”, but they’ve still got a lot to learn and that’s where playtime – and the right toys – comes into play. Here’s our list of dos and don’ts when it comes to toys for toddlers.
DON’T only buy the ‘popular’ toy
Every toy offers some value to the children who play with it. How much value and how long that value will last, however, is another matter entirely. Instead of choosing toys that excite them for a short while before being tossed aside for the next ‘big thing’, choose toys that offer longer-term tangible educational value.
DO choose toys that teach
- Does this toy inspire active play?
- Will it offer my child some sort of challenge?
- Is there more than one way to play with it?
If you can answer yes to all three of these questions, then you’re looking at an educational toy. To read more about educational toys and their positive impact on your child’s development, read our blog post on the subject here.
DON’T fall into the trap of believing more is more
As much as we encourage children to play with a variety of toys, don’t get caught in the trap of an overflowing-yet-underplayed toy box. In a world that’s increasingly concerned about simple, waste-free living, it’s time to make smart toy choices for our children.
DO let them make their own toys
Sometimes the best toy is not a toy at all! Take fantasy play, for example. All you need is a couple of sticks and you’ve got a battle between two Jedi Knights, a handful of flowers and you’ve got a fairy kingdom, a bowl of mud and you’ve got a bakery.
Of course, real toys (like dolls, dress-up, trucks and cooking props) are great for stimulating their imaginations too…not to mention, play a critical supporting role in the land of make believe.
DON’T always choose the technology pacifier
Handing your child your phone or tablet to give you an hour of peace in a chaotic day is only natural – and very understandable when it’s a toddler you’re dealing with. However, you should try to keep this ‘solution’ as the exception rather than the rule for their sake (read about the pros and cons of screen time here).
DO find creative ways to keep them busy
Sometimes all your tired twosie needs is a distraction – or a good nap – so keep a variety of independent play ideas in your arsenal for those tiring times. Stock up on colouring books, audio books and puzzles for that all-important quiet corner.
At Truly Toys, we help you to be an even better parent or teacher by providing educational toys and learning resources for dynamic play that encourage children’s development.