It might not seem like five minutes ago that your child was a baby, tentatively learning about their surroundings and communicating through sound and gesture. As a toddler, your child has entered a new and exciting development stage, where they are able to take a more hands-on and conscious approach to learning and interaction.
Toys can teach children essential life skills and spark their active imaginations, providing hours of enjoyment and creativity. High-quality, traditional wooden toys in particular offer endless hours of learning and laughter for children of all ages.
Indeed, toys and child development go hand-in-hand ‒ but which are the best developmental toys for toddlers?
Cognitive Developmental Toys for Toddlers
For most children, cognitive development comes on leaps and bounds during the toddler years. As a baby, your child will have learnt about the world around them through sight, taste, sound and touch. Now, your toddler is beginning to think for themselves, consider consequences, get more creative with play and start to solve basic problems.
The toys your child plays with can make a huge difference to his or her cognitive development, and traditional wooden toys make an excellent choice. Wooden puzzles, building blocks and stacking towers encourage your toddler to solve problems.
Take a look at our Animal Building Blocks Puzzle ‒ it’s a great example of how puzzle toys can enhance a toddler’s brain development and logical thinking. Allow your child to figure out how the pieces fit together, looking at shape, size, and colour. Through this kind of interactive play, your child will develop essential problem-solving skills.
The Best Toys for Emotional and Social Development
As your baby grows and reaches their toddler years, they will begin to show emotions and start interacting with others. Toys are a great tool to aid your toddler’s emotional and social development, but which toys should you choose?
Toys that facilitate role play, such as our Wooden Doctor Toy Set or Wooden Toolbox, are a brilliant choice for toddlers. Toys like this allow children to play together, interacting with one another, co-operating, sharing space, responsibilities and objects. Your child’s imagination can run wild ‒ they can pretend to be whoever they want, wherever they want, and it’s this kind of emotional experimentation that fosters empathetic behaviour and confidence.
Traditional wooden toys are simple, and it’s this simplicity that encourages a toddler’s imagination to run wild. To you, a tower of wooden blocks might look quite unimaginative, but to your toddler, it could be a fantastical fairy palace!
How Toys Can Help Develop a Child’s Speech and Language
Toys can influence your little one’s language development, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you should rush out and get an electronic gadget that talks. Simple toys that encourage play and creativity can also help your child’s vocabulary and communication.
Pretend play is one of the best types of play for toddlers. Different characters and situations encourage them to use specific vocabulary and voices, and they will learn to associate meanings and sounds to different objects. Opt for simple toy animals or dolls that your child can build a whole story around, or sets that facilitate situation-based play, such as our Folding Kitchen toy or Spiral Train Set.
Simple board games and puzzles are another great choice to help your toddler’s speech and language development. They encourage children to speak out loud and practise specific vocabulary.
Developmental Toys for Toddlers’ Motor Skills
As you’re probably finding out, toddlers are full of energy and always on the go! They like to move around and explore their environment, and play suddenly becomes a lot more physical.
Of all the developmental toys for toddlers, building blocks, puzzles, stackers, train sets and dolls houses are the best choice for enhancing a child’s fine motor skills. Your toddler will learn to manipulate objects with their body using hand-eye coordination and dexterity.
Another great choice for your toddler is a push or pull-along toy. Push or pull-along toys like our cute Pull-Along Ducks encourage your child to pay more attention to how and where they move. Toys like these can really help your child’s spatial awareness and balance.
For inquisitive toddlers, wooden toys are an exceptionally safe choice when compared to plastic toys. We imagine you’re getting used to your toddler testing limits ‒ both yours and those of their toys! Throwing toys around, bashing them together, putting them in their mouths and subjecting them to all kinds of peril is fantastic fun and a huge learning curve for children. This is very natural behaviour, and with wooden toys, you don’t need to worry about your child (or those sweet little pull-along ducks) getting hurt.
The best developmental toys for toddlers don’t need to be complicated, in fact, they are often quite simple! Toys play a vital role in all kinds of child development, and what better choice for your toddler than safe and durable traditional wooden toys that foster creativity, exploration and open-ended fun?