What you might not know is that your toddler is hard at work every day building its skills and developing its abilities, busily learning through play concepts that will help it increase its physical and mental powers. From learning about shapes and sizes to practicing its turn-taking and sharing skills to building its coordination, your child is immersed in self-study every single day.
You can help your toddler on this mission by asking it questions to improve its verbal skills, playing along and asking questions about its pretend games to stimulate its imagination, and giving it freedom to experiment and try new things without minding the mess that's sure to follow.
Here are a few reasons on why play time is so important to your little one:
• Playtime allows your child to stretch its imagination.
• Children learn by doing, making discoveries about how things work, and understanding the world around them through play.
• Playtime helps toddlers build their self-confidence as they determine what things they are good at.
• The sharing and taking turns involved in play teaches children about proper interaction and socialization with other kids.
• Playtime helps toddlers deal with negative emotions such as frustration, anger and sadness.
• Verbally interacting with other children, dolls or even imaginary friends allows your child to boost its language development rate.
• Playtime gives kids a sense of empowerment as they flex their playtime muscles and proudly show their parents or friends what they can do.
• The creativity and building involved in some types of play can also develop children's problem solving skills.
• Eye-hand coordination is improved when children use blocks, puzzles, clay, crayons and other similar toys that require the use of fine motor skills.
• Active play helps keep your child fit and physically healthy.
Nine Recommended Toys for Young Toddlers
Giving your little one the right tools to develop its skills means you're going to have to find the right kind of toys that gives it proper mental and physical stimulation. Here is a list of what toys you should look for:
• Moving: Get your toddler toys that it can ride, push or pull, such as a doll stroller.
• Creating: Give your child large crayons to let it try its hand at art.
• Music: Buying your toddler an inexpensive set of musical instruments such as a small drum or a kazoo will help it develop its musical ear.
• Filling and Emptying: Most toddlers will be fascinated by containers in which they can place things and empty them out, so buy your little one a toy that follows that principle.
• Manipulating: Toys featuring ribbons, switches, buttons and other gadgets develop the baby's motor skills.
• Pretending: Stimulate you child's imagination by giving it a doll house, a train track, a set of cars, or a kitchen set.
• Splashing: During bath time add a few toys in the tub and let your child play and splash around with them, allowing it to see the toys fill up and sink for a lesson in science.
• Reading: Interactive story books with touchy-feely patches and flaps are ideal for children in this age group.