One of the first things to look for in finding a good toy is the age recommendation on the toy packaging. Manufacturers spend time and money researching fun and appropriate toys for different age groups. Looking for the age recommendation is one way to find a fun and safe toy for your child.
Another way to find a good toy is to consider your child’s interests. If your child loves to build things then building blocks, Lincoln Logs or Legos/Duplos are a great way to encourage the engineer (and support early math and science concepts) in your child. Plus, these types of toys encourage imagination. Blocks can be a tower, a road, a city, a castle, a train and many more ideas. Small people figurines that represent families and occupations can also lead to strong imaginative play. And, these characters can be added to vehicles and block communities for longer and more detailed pretend play.
Encouraging Your Child’s Imagination: All young children enjoy imitating adult activities so play items such as tools, play-food and utensils, and costumes may be a fun way for your child to explore real life situations. Young children can spend hours with simple activities such as paints, crayons, and play dough. Play dough can be homemade or store bought and what a child can create with play dough is endless. A container holding play dough, a few cookie cutters, and a small rolling pin would make a perfect gift.
Encouraging Daily Movement: Another idea for gift giving is a toy that encourages movement. With child obesity on the rise it is important to consider the amount of exercise your child gets on a daily basis. Items such as scarves for dancing, mini-trampolines, trikes, or mini jungle-gyms are ways to encourage your child to move. It is also easy to purchase a large mat for rolling and tumbling and even a pull up bar that is secured lower to the ground will help with upper body strength. Or purchasing a family pass to the recreation center and/or pool will support everyone in the family to move.
At the Community Connections Early Learning Program, we provide a wide range of services, in partnership with families and the community to support the development of young children age birth to 3 years.
Our array of services include: Infant Massage, Parenting, Developmental Screenings, Developmental Evaluations, Vision and Hearing Screenings, Developmental therapy, Speech therapy, Motor therapy, Playgroups, and Home visiting.