We share our 10+ best toys for toddler play, that’s fun and spontaneous. With those toys, our toddler loves to play with for hours. Importantly, they help to improve longer attention spans for toddlers and facilitate learning when playing.
The most important thing for us to consider, when choosing a toy for our little one, was always whether he can PLAY with it. In particular, play means for us whether he can take the lead and follow his own curiosity with the toy. “Good thought, parents!” says the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Children are often seen actively engaged in and passionately engrossed in play; this builds executive functioning skills and contributes to school readiness.”
Play is fundamentally important for learning 21st century skills, such as problem solving, collaboration, and creativity, which require the executive functioning skills that are critical for adult success.AAP
Play is key to building thriving brains, bodies, and social bonds according to a recent study of American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). This research shows that play can improve children’s abilities to plan, organize, get along with others, and regulate emotions. In addition, play helps with language, math, and social skills, and even helps children cope with stress.
Keep in mind:
Bored children will not learn well.American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
Following, choose toys that keep them motivated, actively engaged and help them to joyfully discover the world. Accordingly, the best toys create a base for an imaginative private reality and contain elements of make-believe.
Playtime! Our 10 Best Toys for Toddler Play
1. Play Kitchen
Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man. Bake me a cake as fast as you can… From cooking cars, through real vegetables, pancakes to washing dishes with imaginary water and having imaginary and real nam nam nam eating, nibbling, feasting, the play kitchen is one of our best choices for toddler play. Ours stands in our real kitchen, so we can always cook together. And sometimes, we have a picnic on the floor – yummy!
The best thing about this kitchen is that it is easy to build it by yourself too. Some good ideas can be found on Pinterest.
2. Grocery Store with a Chalk Board
Our store sells everything from blocks, though books, cards, food, milk, chalk, toys – it’s just the place to hang out for hours, to chat a little bit and draw some stuff on the chalkboard – letters, numbers, turtles, sharks, horses. The store has few draws and doors, that are fun to open and hide things, that mommy needs.
There are plenty of DIY grocery store ideas on Pinterest if you want to build your own store.
3. Wooden School Bus with People
The wheels on this classic wooden school bus are going round and round and so do the 7 wooden passengers everywhere in the house. Sometimes, they go through the door, sometimes through the roof of the bus. And sometimes, they just hide under the couch. Good that the bus stops and picks them up, wherever they go.
4. Wooden Farm
From 12 months to almost 24 months, this wooden farm was THE number one toy to play with. No wonder! Indeed, the animals and the farmer were going up and down, hiding, singing, eating. In addition, we bought more wooden animal toys and the play-learn never stops. Expect the sorting, counting, colors, animal names, stacking, transportation to go on every day.
5. Wooden Cars & Tractors
Obviously, we have a boy, so our best toy list cannot exist without cars, tractors & trucks. Cars are the most used toys in our house and there is a good reason for that – you can do anything with them. Definitely, sorting, counting, learning colors, transporting other toys, race and so much more.
6. Color-shifting Cars
Hot and cold. That’s how we learned both words and it took only a few buckets of hot and cold water, some of which landed on the floor through all car wash splashing. Cars that change their color depending on the temperature. The fascination with changing colors never fades. Sink, fridge, bathing time – color changing cars are just lit. Interesting fact – we are the ones interrupting his play – just because either the floor or his clothes get too wet. Check out our playtime with color-changing cars.
7. Magnetic Drawing Board
Also Color Magna Doodle —The drawing pad is a classic and fun toy for children to play with. Mess-free, engaging & useful, this toy is a must-have on a car trip.
8. Alphabet and Numbers Foam Puzzle Play Mat
No need for an introduction – another classic toy and a great base for hours of fun playing & learning.
Indeed, balls are almost as good as cars on our list and they are almost everywhere in the house, making sure that the playtime never ends. Check out our 5 EASY BALL TODDLER ACTIVITIES AT HOME.
10. Musical instrument
Let’s dance! We had not one dance session and a toddler-DJ bedtime time with this portable piano keyboard.
Or the fine motor skills bench, how I call it. Despite the hammering when I have headaches, a workbench is one of the best toys, you can gift to a boy and a DIY lover.