Toddlers pose many challenges to first-time parents. These kids are often perceived as negativistic and full of temper tantrums. However, child developmental psychologists say that their behavior is merely an expression of their frustration. They easily get frustrated about things that they cannot explain. They have the idea but since their language skills is still pretty much limited, then tend to express it in ways that they know will get the attention of their parents – throwing temper tantrums. That is why it is crucial to choose toys that are appropriate for toddlers as these will help them develop their cognitive, social, and emotional skills needed to communicate with adults.
Here are some tips on how you can choose the best toys for your toddler.
1. Choose Toys Your Toddler can Grow With
It is often important to choose toys that your toddler can play with even when he or she is already a preschooler or even a school age boy or girl. These toys allow for the continuity of their development through several stages. At the very least, they will show mastery in their developmental skills playing with these toys. Additionally, this will greatly improve their self-confidence and be better at communicating their thoughts. Great examples are doll houses, train sets, and construction sets.
2. Choose Toys that Encourage Open-Ended Play
Make sure to buy toys that allow your toddler to experiment. Toys that allow for open-ended play encourage your child to think of different scenarios upon which he or she can play with his or her toys. This helps foster creativity and imagination. More importantly, it becomes the foundation for the development of rational thinking, logical reasoning, and critical thinking. He or she may not appreciate nor understand the value of it yet but when he or she reaches school age, he or she will definitely refer to it. Examples are play-dough and building toys.
3. Choose Toys that Inspire Exploration
Toddlers are natural-born explorers. This is that period in life when they are no longer confined to the 4 walls of their baby crib. Now, with stronger legs and more nimble feet, they can start looking and roaming around their surroundings. This helps them understand and appreciate what is in their environment. So, it is therefore crucial to choose toys that will help encourage your toddler to explore his little world. Play-Doh and building toys are great examples of these kinds of toys.
4. Choose Toys that Spark His or Her Imagination
Imaginative play is crucial for toddlers to make sense of their world. For them, the real adult world is a dangerous place and can be overwhelming if understood from their point of view. As such, they need to make sense of it in smaller replicas of that world. Make-believe and pretend play sets are thus very helpful in this regard as it allows them to use their imagination to create their very own world that closely mirrors that of the real environment. Moreover, they can create scenarios where they can express what they want and thus, minimize temper tantrums. Building blocks, doll houses, and play sets are great examples.
5. Choose Toys that Encourage Problem Solving
A few more years and toddlers will already be entering kindergarten. By then, they should already have fair control of their cognitive abilities. Choose toys that allow them to find solutions to simple problems or even to sort shapes and colors. Puzzles and building blocks are excellent examples of these toys.
Choosing the right gifts for your kids is important if you want them to be more confident about themselves. This can also minimize their temper tantrums.