Pathways to Wellness

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Toys for toddlers

Whether you're a parent, grandparent, or a good friend, finding toys for toddlers can be overwhelming.  The selection of toys is both large and limiting - ponies and anything pink are advertised for girls, while trucks and dinosaurs are promoted for boys.

Toddlers are in a constant state of discovery - they want to explore, experiment, problem solve.  These activities help them learn cause-and-effect.   They learn if and how they can have an effect on the world around them.  Toys that encourage exploration, experimentation and problem-solving engage a child's natural curiousity, imagination and creativity.

Here are some tips to help select toys that are mind expanding:

  • In general, the more bells and whistles a toy has, the less creative children need to be when they play.  The brain is like a muscle - the more the brain is exercised, the stronger it gets.
  • "Educational" videos and DVDs promise more than they deliver.  Feel free to pass them by.  Kids learn through doing and interacting with real people.
  • Toys like blocks, activity boards, stacking cups, water toys, and doll houses encourage exploration and creativity.
  • Toys that look like "the real thing" - dress-up clothes, plastic food and kitchenware, toy phones, musical instruments and even mops and brooms, stimulate toddlers' imagination.
  • Anything that gets kids active - balls, wagons, push toys, shovels and rakes, are great choices.
  • And books are always great to give and receive.  There’s nothing better than being read to.

But remember that what is most fun is playing with you!  And, when you get tired, most toddlers love playing with real kitchen pots, pans and wooden spoons!

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