Last week on the blog we focused on toy recommendations for infants. This week we are discussing the best toys for toddlers.
Toddlers are busy and in to everything. Here at our clinic we focus on active play when working with toddlers. We provide opportunities for children to engage in a variety of activities to promote physical and mental development. The toys we recommend below will challenge and provide a multi-sensory experience to your child. We also encourage parents and caregivers to use toys that will promote gross motor and fine motors skills, language, problem solving, and critical thinking development.
The Best Active Toy Recommendations for Toddlers
Standing Easel A standing easel allows a child to practice drawing, tracing, and scribbling. It promotes fine motor development and visual motor skills. The standing easel provides a vertical surface encouraging reaching, crossing midline, and building strength in the shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers.
Riding Toy A riding toy, such as a trike, encourages balance, coordination, and strength. It also starts to promote independence for the child. A riding toy is really great for facilitating bilateral coordination through the use of the pedals and stirring. It is also a great toy a child can grow in to and use at different developmental stages.
Interlocking Blocks Interlocking blocks, also known as jumbo Legos, are great for building fine motor skills. These blocks allow for endless imagination play and discovery. Interlocking blocks also create opportunities for a child to build their problem-solving and critical thinking development.
Trampoline A small trampoline that is close to the floor and includes a stability bar promotes physical activity and enhances gross motor development. It can be used at any age and used indoor or outdoor. By using the stability bar and practicing jumping skills, a child is able to gain control and stability. A trampoline also provides sensory and proprioceptive input to the child’s joints.
Puzzles Puzzles are interactive and engaging. They allow the child to problem solve through the interaction of putting the puzzle together. Children also use fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and visual perceptive skills when working on puzzles.
Lacing Cards and Lacing Beads Lacing cards or beads are great for encouraging fine motor skills. They also are important for building bilateral coordination skills, which is the ability to use both hands together. At this age children start to develop independent as well as hand dominance. These lacing activities are perfect to help facilitate both independence and hand dominance.
Listed above is only a short list of toy recommendations. There are many more options that you can choose from that will be equally as good as those above. However, these are some of my favorite tried and true toys that address some of the important building blocks for development.
Stay tuned for next week when we discuss toy recommendations for preschoolers.