Posts Tagged ‘skill development’

Best Learning Toys and Activities for Young Toddlers

Friday, August 15th, 2014

269Hooray! You have a walking toddler who can get into everything. This is a great time to start working on fun, learning toys and activities with your little one. Many parents are overwhelmed with the gifts their little one receives at their first birthday. Use this occasion to request learning toys. These toys will get plenty of use and can be passed down to younger siblings in the future.

Here are a few of my favorite toys for this age:

1. Play Kitchen: My daughter was lucky enough to get a hand-me-down kitchen for her 1st birthday. The kitchen, complete with a microwave, dishwasher, and oven, was her favorite toy for months. Toys that encourage make-believe play are fun for little ones and parents alike. Children at this age love to show emotion and please their parents. My daughter loved to make me some fake food and have me sample it.

2. Puzzles: Peg wooden puzzles are a great toy to encourage learning in a young toddler. Most of these puzzles come with large knobs, perfect for little hands, and some even make sounds. Choose a puzzle that has a theme that your little one seems to enjoy. My daughter loves puzzles still at 23 months. She is very into airplanes, trucks, etc., so her favorite puzzle right now contains these objects. Remember that your little one may become frustrated, so start slowly with just 1 or 2.

3. Ride-On Toys: This is the age where little ones can start exploring ride-on toys. These toys help with gross motor development. There are so many you can choose from and for a variety of prices. My daughter received a Little People Shopping Cart at 16 months. At first, she was a little skeptical. Now, she rides on it almost daily and pretends she is on the phone at the grocery store.

4. Crayons and Coloring Books: Hooray for crayons! Crayons are a fun, cheap toy that little one this age enjoy. Remember to get washable ones, however. Pick a fun coloring book out for your little one and encourage them to scribble on the page. Coloring has been known to improve fine motor skills, and it’s also very therapeutic and peaceful for mom.

1. Board Books: You can never have too many books for a 12-18 month old. No mom wants to read the same thing over and over. Choose a variety of books. Books that focus on first words are a great toy to start with. Touch and feel books were my daughter’s favorite. Lift-the-flap books and hidden picture books are fun, as well.

So, moms, what were your favorite learning toys at 12-18 months? Remember, learning can be fun!

Karyn is a mom of one and one on the way. She still reads several books a day to her daughter and makes weekly trips to the library to get new ones.