With Christmas approaching I thought I would talk about my favourite toys for toddlers. I’m afraid that you won’t see here many trendy toys. I like traditional toys made of natural materials, wood mainly. I like toys that allow kids imagination to flow free. That’s why I shy from cartoon characters.
All my suggestions can be easily found at yard sales and second-hand stores.
Without further ado, my top five toys for toddlers:
I know, I know. I annoy myself sometimes too. Playing outside, in nature, is the most valuable gift we can give a toddler. They can jump on puddles, climb trees, throw rocks, dig holes… I know that it’s tiring to go outside with them after work. It’s easier to turn on the TV. However, some fresh air and movement will give you both energy and help you de-stress.
You can play with mother nature at home too. I sometimes empty my pantry and fridge, let my kid explore textures and colours by playing with veggies, fruits and beans.
- Wooden building blocks
Those building blocks are durable, universal and eco-friendly. By playing with them, you can teach your kid the colours and shapes, how to build, how to rebuild when the tower falls, etc. They don’t hurt as much as Lego do when you step on them (Bonus!). They are versatile as you can build different things with them. They are not “sets” that only allow you to build a ship or a castle. Thanks to their simplicity, imagination is key.
- Street chalk
We have a small terrace and play a lot with chalk. You can take it to the street or playground and draw with your kid. It’s both fun and educational. You can help them develop his imagination by drawing monsters or making up new animals. Or you can teach them some numbers and letters. Best of all: No mess!
We got a wooden xylophone for his second birthday. We are having some fun exploring sounds. I like that it has no batteries. It’s durable. It doesn’t have pre-recorded music. I think that it’s important to let them explore, to not force on them the need to learn how to play a song.
I love puzzles. My mom, her sister and my grandma used to do big puzzles growing up. Now that I have a kid I see how entertaining they are. But I also hear my son’s brain at work. They are not always easy to complete. That’s why parents should help and guide the toddler if needed.
What are your favourite toys for toddlers?