Thinking of a gift for your little one? Check out our list of best toys for toddlers here.
What can you read in this article?
- Some qualities you should look for in a toy
- Does your 1-year-old need high-tech, electronic toys?
- Age appropriate toys for 1 year old
As parents, we like to give our children the best things that will not only make them happy but will also help in their development.
That’s why it’s important for us to also make sure that the toys we give our children are going to contribute to their growth so that they can learn while having fun.
But with all the different kinds of toys available in the market, how do you know which one is the best for your toddler? Now that he is starting to explore and become curious about so many things, what kind of toys should you pick to cultivate a love for learning and stimulate his brain development?
To offer some ideas on the kinds of toys that are ideal for toddlers, we’ve come up with a list of the best toys for toddlers. But before that, let’s discuss the criteria you should be using when choosing a toy for your little one.
Image from Unsplash
Age appropriate toys for 1 year old: Qualities you should look for in a toy
According to the website Zero to Three, here are some of the things you should keep in mind when buying a toy for your child:
- Choose toys that can be played in a variety of ways. Also known as open-ended toys, these spark your little one’s imaginations and build problem-solving skills.
- Look for toys that grow with your child and transcend the different developmental stages. In other words, choose a toy that your child can play with when he’s one year old, two years old, three, and so on.
- Select toys that encourage your child to think. It’s never too early to raise a thinker. Toys that encourage your kid to explore and problem solve are great in building logical thinking skills in children.
- Consider toys that spark your child’s imagination. Pretend play is essential in your child’s brain development, so look for toys that will encourage him to use his imagination and do make-believe.
- Give him toys that look like the real thing. Have you ever wondered why your child is so fascinated with the remote or your cellphone? It’s because she actually wants to figure out how things work. They also help develop fine motor skills and encourage independence.
- Choose toys that encourage your child to be active. Now that we’re mostly confined to our own homes, it’s so important to keep your child moving, even in his own little space. These kinds of toys can sharpen your kid’s gross and fine motor skills.
“Does my child need high-tech toys and gadgets?”
We’ve seen these kinds of toys in the market, which have all the lights, sounds and buttons that you need to press. We were made to believe that these toys make our kids smart because they are often marketed as “developmental.” But the truth is, this may have the opposite effect on your child.
Gadgets and highly electronic toys can become overstimulating for your toddler, and may cause behavioral problems. At the same time, if it does everything for your child, then she probably won’t learn much from it.
“The best toys for kids are the ones that don’t do anything – toys that they need to manipulate to make it work,” says Gabby Limjoco, a preschool teacher and owner of the school Playworks.
With those things in mind, here are some of the best toys that you can buy or give your toddler that will help in their learning and development.
Best toys for toddlers
1. Nesting cups or boxes
Nesting cups or boxes are usually plastic cups or boxes of different sizes that fit into one another, “nesting” basically. This helps your child’s dexterity and also acts like a puzzle of sorts since they have to figure out the proper order to the cups in order to make them fit together.
These nesting cups are also great examples of toys that promote open-ended play that develops your child’s creativity as well as logical thinking skills.
2. Wooden blocks
Wooden blocks, especially those with letters not only help your child’s dexterity and sharpen motor skills, but you can also use those blocks to teach your child different letters, shapes, etc., which makes it great for open-ended play. Toddlers also love stacking them, so it engages their creativity.
3. Simple musical instruments
Simple musical instruments such as toy tambourines, drums, or maracas help engage your child’s creativity and also stimulate brain development. You can try playing a musical pattern on the instruments, and let your little one imitate what you’re doing.
This all-time favorite is one of the best toys for toddlers because it encourages them to move around. It also teaches your child language (as you describe the shape, color ad texture of the ball to him), and also spatial awareness (watching the ball move up and down, closer and farther away from him).
41 Fun sensory activities for your 1-year-old’s brain development
Here’s a toddler play idea to last you beyond quarantine restrictions
STUDY: Chemicals found in Kid’s toys, shampoos, and makeup linked to early death
5. Dolls or stuffed animals
Dolls or stuffed animals are the ultimate toys for pretend play and work great for storytelling too. You can pretend that their dolls or stuffed animals are different characters so it makes storytime more fun! You can even let your little one create stories of their own. These toys are also awesome at teaching social skills like sharing, communicating with others and expressing emotions too.
6. A toy tricycle
For kids who are 2-3 years old, a toy tricycle is a good way of keeping them active while they’re playing.
Some kids don’t like to run or walk around, but they do like riding on a tricycle. You can even go out with them while they ride their tricycle around the neighborhood. Just make sure to keep an eye on them, and check that there are no cars or other vehicles around that might hurt them.
Simple puzzles are great for your child’s development. It helps engage the problem-solving parts of their brain at a young age and also keeps those parts active while they are playing. It stimulates brain development by giving your child a chance to practice the skills he learned over and over again.
8. Toys that snap together
Building toys, such as Legos, are great for kids of all ages. But for toddlers, you can buy the larger sized legos that are specifically designed to not be a choking hazard. These toys help engage their creativity and also encourages your child to build different things and to explore what they can do with the blocks.
9. Kitchen sets
Aside from sharpening their creativity and fine motor skills, these toys encourage independence in toddlers. When played with a companion, it will also boost your child’s language, social skills, and may even teach them about food and nutrition.
10. Busy boards
Also known as activity boards, busy boards are interactive sensory, safe boards filled with everyday items such as locks and keys, knobs, shoelaces, and buttons.
Toys like these help children problem-solve, learn spatial relations (how things fit together), and develop fine motor skills (use of the small muscles in the hands and fingers) and even build independence. And if that’s not appealing enough, have we mentioned that these toys keep a toddler busy and preoccupied for a long time?
Another great thing about it is you can actually make one yourself (just ask the help of a crafty and handy friend or relative), depending on your child’s interests and needs.
Image from Pexels
As this list proves, toys don’t have to be expensive for them to be fun and educational to your toddler. What really matters is how your child plays with it, and who he plays with (Read: YOU!) for him to be entertained and learn while doing it.
Additional information by Camille Eusebio
Healthline, WebMD, Zero to Three,