There are no limits to the creativity a toddler possesses. Instead, the entire creative process is just that — a fun process. For toddlers, it does not matter whether body parts are glued in the right place or if colors are used appropriately. Being able to flex those creative muscles gives toddlers a more well-rounded view of themselves and those around them while helping make important connections in the brain.
Suggestions: Play-dough, finger paints, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, thick crayons, large chalk, construction paper, and chunky paintbrushes.
Suggestions: Board books, vinyl books, large picture books, books on tape, and books without words.
Toys to Spark Imagination
During the toddler years, children will develop the ability to play pretend. They will play the role of a police officer, astronaut, or doctor with toys that are often simple and readily available. All this imaginative play helps toddlers build language and literacy skills, as well as social skills and problem-solving skills.
Suggestions for large motor skills: Child-size basketball hoop, balls, balance bike, gardening tools, ride-on toys, plastic bowling sets, and sheer scarves.
Suggestions for small motor skills: Lacing cards, dolls that have zippers and snaps, crayons, and child-proof scissors.
Toys for Imitation
Toddlers want to be big and capable like you. That is why they become very good at figuring out how things work, like the television remote and light switches. Toddlers also enjoy helping out, which builds problem-solving skills and confidence.
Suggestions: Child-size brooms, mops and vacuums, plastic telephone, musical instruments, plastic or wooden foods and dishes, small kitchen and tool bench
When thinking of toys, remember that less is often more. In other words, a few simple toys are sufficient. The most important thing is that each child has the opportunity to do what children do best— play!