Top tips for choosing toddler toys
Once children can creep or walk, they become very busy! As toddlers move around their nursery or day-care space, they constantly seek out new and cool activities, so having lots of options for play makes sense. They will make their favorite toddler toys, games and activities known, but will often also see – and want – the toys their friends are playing with. So stock up on popular toddler toys, like building blocks, car toys, dolls, and plush toys to allow toddlers to play alongside their peers. Experimenting with easy arts and crafts is a great way to explore creativity and develop sensory skills: finger painting and playing with modeling compounds are popular choices for day-care and playgroup activities. Storytime is a great toddler activity for quieter times: the best toddler books feature bright colors, simple stories, and even educational features like introducing numbers, letters, shapes, and animals.
The best preschool toys spark imagination
3 and 4 year old children have the energy and enthusiasm to play all day! These curious preschoolers need a variety of toys, games, crafts, and activities that allow for open-ended play: the kind with few or no set rules. This scope for imagination allows them to invent their own preschool games and to pretend with toys like cars, building blocks, and dolls, in new and original ways. Educational toys that incorporate pre-k skills in reading and counting – from simple wooden puzzles to rewarding tech toys like starter tablets – can help little learners make an easier transition from day-care or preschool to kindergarten. Preschool books – especially those featuring popular characters – can also foster storytelling and build literacy skills. Cool art activities – like birthday party crafts or summer sandbox play – can challenge preschoolers to use new materials in creative (and sometimes messy!) ways.
Making the jump to kindergarten toys
When children finally start school, the world of play opens even wider! Their days are filled with fun kindergarten activities that combine educational and social skills. The best kindergarten toys and games are ones that kids can do together: cooperative board games; Halloween, Easter, or Christmas crafts; or outdoor toys to help burn off all that energy. Role-play toys, action figures, and dress-up Halloween costumes are very popular with 3 and 4 Year old: pretending is always fun! Top choices for kindergarten books involve short sentences, simple stories, and often star characters from kids’ favorite shows.