Toddler Toys:  Learning Through Play

Toddler Toys

After evaluating items purchased for the classroom based on educational merit and fun, it has become natural to apply those same guidelines to purchasing toys for our children. Several things to consider while purchasing a toy is to ask yourself, will my child(ren) enjoy playing with this toy and can you see them enjoying it for a long time. Secondly, is this toy age appropriate. Age is simply a suggestion, you know your child/class best and need to determine if it will be played with as designed. If you have pets that love to chew things or eat small pieces, please take them into consideration as well.. There has been a large concern with China producing toys but more than 85% of toys are manufactured in China so even major companies still use China to manufacture toys. Use your judgement and consider how the toy is made, does it have a lot of paint, magnets or small parts. While toys are for entertainment, consider what can your child learn by playing with this toy. We will share some of our favorites here.


water table for kids

Infant Toys

This was a huge hit and was well loved by my children. Lots to keep them entertained and great way to promote language and identification of colors and numbers.

Check For Recalls

As a precaution, whenever you intend to make any toy purchase, it is a good idea to make it standard practice to check for recalls.

Tips and Suggestions

Our activities are meant to simply to take advantage of a child's natural curiosity and eagerness to learn at this age. It is designed to give you ideas for things to do with your child with toys you are likely to have, as well as introduce you to a couple you may not. One toy we'd like to emphasize needs monitoring are ones with magnets. We really liked the LeapFrog magnets because they are fully enclosed. Please consider this as a safer choice than the ones with the magnets exposed.
  • Be descriptive when you are talking with your child..This will help to build language, and develop meaning to words. Examples are: Using COLOR words (red, blue, rainbow, PATTERNS (striped, polka dotted, SIZE (small, big, huge), NUMBER/AMOUNT (2 bears, lots of balls), and TEXTURE (soft, rough)
  • Plastic baskets or bins are great ways to store and organize toys in an inexpensive way. You can also rotate toys easily this way.
  • As soon as they are able to drop things in a basket which they LOVE at this age, they can assist in straightening up. This teaches children it's just part of play time, which makes it much more enjoyable than introducing it as a chore later.