Over the years, toys have gotten more sophisticated in that many seem to move, make noise, and have flashing lights or music. They are a little harder to find, but some of the classic, more traditional toys are still available in toy stores and toddlers will enjoy playing with them too.
The Downsides of Electronic Toys
Toys that have lights and sounds initially capture the attention of children, but all the bells and whistles are powered by batteries. Unless parents have stock in a battery company, what often happens is that a few months from now the toy will sit on a shelf ignored because it no longer works.
Another thing to keep in mind about toddlers is that they have a cause and effect mentality. They like to figure out that when a certain button is pushed, it makes the yellow light come on, or when you turn a knob, the sound of a cow moo-ing occurs. Once they’ve conquered the toy and figured out the cause and effect link, they often move on to something else and that toy is no longer played with.
Simple Open-Ended Toys for Toddlers
When shopping for a toddler, choose toys that can be played with in a variety of ways, and that will challenge them for a long time. Some inexpensive toys that will accomplish this are:
- stacking rings on a post
- nesting cups
- blocks of different sizes and colors
- chunky crayons and paper
- toddler-sized musical instruments
- pretend toys such as make-believe phones, dishes, animals and people
- simple puzzles
- shape sorters
Pull and Push Toys
Once a toddler starts walking, she enjoys taking things with her. Consider a gift of one of these items that will allow a toddler to push it around or pull it behind her:
- baby stroller
- shopping cart
- large dump truck
Books for Toddlers Make Great Gifts
Adding to a toddler’s library may be one of the best investment adults can make in his life. According to “Learning, Play, and Your 1- to 2- Year Old” by Kids Health, reading to toddlers will help promote language skills, and a child can enjoy these books for many years into the future. For toddlers, invest in board books with thick unbending pages to hold up to a toddler’s unpolished fine motor skills. The following authors have many choices that toddlers love:
- Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar)
- Bill Martin, Jr. (Brown Bear, Brown Bear)
- Sandra Boynton (Belly Button Book)
- Dr. Suess (Green Eggs and Ham)
- Don Freeman (Corduroy Books)
Christmas and other gift-giving occasions are exciting for toddlers. Consider by-passing the electronic toys this year and purchase simple, quality toys that will amuse toddler and last for a long time.