Research has shown that by choosing the right toys and offering choices in play will help to improve social and developmental skills for toddlers.
Kendra Moyses, a child development expert with Michigan State University says, allowing young kids to engage with toys that help foster imagination and teach basic skills are rarely the top selling toy on the market.
“We get toys that have all these bells and whistles, and those are fine, but those have a very finite way you can use them.”
When buying your toddler a toy, ask yourself these questions:
*Is the toy safe?
*Does it capture the child’s interest?
*Is the toy appropriate for the child’s age and ability?
*Can the child use the toy alone or is another person needed?
*What kind of activities will it encourage?
This should also include erasing gender-specific thoughts about toys too because the actual lesson your child may be learning is likely entirely different than what’s assumed.
“Boys should have experiences with baby dolls or with Barbie’s. They learn language skills when they interact with that doll and talking with that doll. We want girls playing with things that are traditionally boy toys like blocks and trucks, because they exposed to engineering, math, building, and spatial recognition.”
According to MSU child development staff, these are the top ten toys for toddlers: