by Ronaldo Tumbokon
When your toddler enjoys a toy, it has the potential to provide him with great learning experience appropriate for his age. Your toddler is a natural learner and anything that interests him will teach him something. The more variety of toys your toddler has, the happier he is, and the more diverse his learning experience will be.
The major categories of smart toddler toys are those that make him physically active to make him master gross motor skills, those that help him develop fine motor skills, musical instruments toys, and creative and imagination toys.
Here are some recommendations for the best toddler toys per category:
When your baby grows to be 12 to 36 months old, he or she becomes a toddler. He is called a toddler because “to toddle” means to walk unsteadily, which is a characteristic of a child of this age. Your toddler enjoys toys that does not only give him fun, but also enable him to move, so he can perfect walking, balancing, and other gross motor skills. Take him to a playground and let him play with a small slide or a toddler gym. These develop his muscle and agility. Indoor toys that also develop your child’s strength and coordination include:
- cars or wagons that he can push
- low rocking horses
- riding toys
- safety trikes and wagons
- indoor play set
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SoftZone Climb and Crawl Activity Play Set, Lightweight Foam Shapes for Climbing, Crawling and Sliding
This activity play set consists of five colorful foam shapes – a rectangle, square, wedge, round and half-moon – that you or your toddler can configure to be an indoor playground. Your toddler can climb, crawl and slide on this foam set to start him on an active lifestyle. It develops important gross motor skills such as crawling, climbing, sliding, and carrying. It is safe, easy to clean and provides hours of active fun.
VTech Pop-a-Balls Push & Pop Bulldozer,Yellow
The toddler stage is one when your child enjoys pushing and moving toys. Through these toys, not only does he perfect walking, balancing, and other gross motor skills, he also uses his imagination in a wide range of open-ended play. The Pop-a-Balls Push and Pop Bulldozer is a colorful toy that your toddler pushes across the floor, popping colorful balls out of the chimney into the bucket. When your child keeps pushing, the bucket will dump the balls back into the bulldozer. Plus, there are buttons in the bulldozer that teaches your child to learn colors, numbers, phrases and music. Rolling the bulldozer and triggering motion sensors also plays fun tunes and songs. Your toddler will find this toy a lot of fun that he will spend a lot of time walking and exercising his legs. It’s also a Toy of the Year Awards 2018 finalist.
Toys For Fine Motor Skills
In addition to mastering gross motor skills, your toddler strives to learn and perfect fine motor skills like controlling his hands and rotating his wrists. Good toys to give your child to help him accomplish this are as follows:
- toys that unscrew
- toys with interlocking pieces that can be put together and apart
- construction games
- puzzle pieces that he has to manipulate to fit into shapes (pegboards)
- soft balls
- play dough
- hammering benches
- sand box where he plays with sand using plastic shapes, shovels, scoops, jars, and others
- arts and crafts supplies
Play-Doh Modeling Compound 10 Pack Case of Colors
Play dough is one the basic and best toy you can give to your toddler because the number of ways he can have fun with it is only limited by his imagination. Your toddler is encouraged to develop his creativity by shaping, mixing, and squishing this modeling clay-like substance to make art and imaginative creation. Also, it helps him develop fine motor skills. Play-Doh is a well-known, best-selling brand that delights kids with colorful, squishy, safe and non-toxic set of play doughs. Each Play-Doh set contains 10 pack case of assorted colors, perfect for hours of creative fun.
Skoolzy Rainbow Counting Bears with Matching Sorting Cups, Bear Counters and Dice Math Toddler Games 71pc Set – Bonus Scoop Tongs, Storage Bags…
There are many ways for your toddler to play with this set of colorful counting bears with matching sorting cups, complete with bonus scoop tongs and storage bags. Your toddler can stack, sort, and manipulate the cups and the counting bears in many creative ways, and in the process learn to count, add, create patterns, and identify colors. Aside from providing your toddler with a variety of play opportunities, this toy set also benefits your child’s brain and stimulates his or her developing skills like hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills – especially if he plays with you!
This toy is perfect for toddlers who love to open and close doors and covers. To play, your child undo a lock or latch, open a numbered door to discover a picture behind it. The latches board build fine motor skills while getting your child to learn about colors, numbers, animals and more.
Musical Instruments Toys
Simple musical instruments are also excellent toys as this will introduce your child to the world of music making and playing an instrument. Playing a musical instrument is shown to have beneficial effect on children’s intelligence, and the toddler age is a great stage for you to start introducing your child to musical instruments. These include:
- musical hammers
- his voice (singing)
VTech KidiBeats Drum Set
Toddler loves hitting things, and they’ll enjoy it even more when they are creating musical sounds while they are doing it. That’s why a drum set is a perfect introduction for your child to create music. But this is not an ordinary drum, it is also a learning toy. It consists of three drum pads and a cymbal which your child plays with a pair of drumsticks, and has electronic features that makes 25 different sounds and built-in melodies. It even teaches letters, numbers and music when your child follows the moving lights on the drum. Four play modes include Free Play, Letters, Numbers and Follow Along.
Toys that stimulate your child’s imagination are some of the most enjoyable, and they exercise and develop his creativity. They also help him identify with adults as he imitates his father fixing the car or her mother cooking, for example. Any object can be a creative toy. The following are examples:
- towel that becomes a super cape and transforms him into a super hero
- old clothes and costumes
- cardboard boxes, play tents and tunnels
- toy trucks, trains and cars
- stuffed animals, character toys and dolls
- bath toys
- toy tools, doctor’s instruments, cooking utensils
- paper, pencil, crayons, arts and crafts supplies
Munchkin Fishin’ Bath Toy
Bath time can be playtime for your toddler, and this fishing toy can give her the most fun. Your toddler will not mind bathing often, and longer. The set consists of a magnetic fishing rod and three underwater bobblers. The fishing hook, with a handle specially made to fit toddler hands, easily picks up the sea creatures. In addition to making your toddler enjoy her bath, it also helps her develop hand-eye coordination.
Foxprint Princess Castle Play Tent With Glow In The Dark Stars
The toddler stage is when your child starts to enjoy pretend play. She uses her imagination to transform herself into a character of her choice, and take herself to her favorite place of fantasy. This Princess Castle Play Tent provides your toddler with a magical private place of her own, to give free rein to her creativity. It is easy to assemble, kid-friendly designed, provides comfortable shelter, and can be used indoor in her playroom as well as in outdoor trips. It is even enhanced with glow in the dark stars. She will feel like owning her very own castle of her dreams.
FoxPrint Rocket Ship Tent – Space Themed Pretend Play Tent
If your toddler prefers to be an astronaut in a rocket ship, then he can have a magical place of his own too with this Rocket Ship Tent.
LEGO DUPLO All-in-One-Box-of-Fun Building Kit (65 Pieces)
Lego bricks are classic building toys that generations of kids have enjoyed. This large Lego bricks set are made for toddlers and preschoolers. It consists of 65 colorful brick pieces that include a house, a wagon base with wheels that really turn, a dog figure, a boy, numbered pieces, and more. Your toddler will have fun building and rebuilding all kinds of stuff using his creativity and imagination, and getting immersed in enjoying his creations. Manipulating the toys also help build his fine motor skills. This set is compatible with other Lego Duplo construction sets to enable your child to combine more variety of bricks for more creative possibilities.
Baby GUND Animated Clappy Monkey Singing and Clapping Plush Stuffed Animal
Sometimes all your toddler wants is a stuffed animal he can hug, coddle, and be a friend and constant companion. This clappy monkey is soft and huggable, plus it plays clapping game when your child press the left foot, and sings “If You’re Happy and You Know it” while moving its arms and clapping when your child presses the right foot. Your toddler will be delighted!
VTech Touch and Swipe Baby Phone
If your toddler loves to grab and play with your phone, give her this educational toy phone instead. It will not only free you from sharing your phone with your toddler, but this pretend phone can also give her educational benefits – like introducing her to letters, numbers, and first words. Other pretend apps include calendar, clock and weather apps where your child learns about the day. In music mode, the toy phone plays sing-along songs and instrument sounds. Your child will have fun pretending to call people and even animals, while being introduced to early learning concepts.