Toddlers and their toys. It is quite a common among new parents that they buy the best, most baby friendly hyper-futuristic toys at the shops. You know the shop assistant tells you how much it can teach your kid, and the bigger the better as you toddler’s sight is quite blurry at the beginning. Also, it is smart to buy things that are big so the toddler cannot swallow any parts by accident. Also, you should buy for you baby colorful toys, he or she will like it, and never the less only at their baby shop, you can buy this kind of toy which will do the best for you toddler. This is the best thing you can do for your baby as a mommy to be, and most of the parents are taking this to make their baby smarter and give them the best they can.
Don’t get me wrong I am not trying to get to the point where I tell you all of that is serving the purpose of getting your money and make you buy toys that not even live up to half of the promises. All the listed things are true but there is so much more to think about when choosing toys. Especially if you want to avoid the usual practice of putting 2 or 3 weeks old toys away as your toddler get bored of them. And the boxes will grow in size and in number filled with the unused toy, at your house at grandparents house and so on.
Some of the toys are truly invented to benefit you baby in the best way possible by triggering all the 5 senses (sight, touch, hearing, taste, and smell). But how can you distinguish from the millions and millions of option which is the best for your baby as a mommy to be? Well in this short article I will give you some tips and trick to evaluate the toys you are about to buy and how can you suggest for friends and family to do the same.
Some basic facts
Let’s start with the basics, toys are there to introduce your toddler to the new world they have just entered, for them every smell, color, taste, sound, and feeling is new. That is what you should try to trigger, try to choose a toy that affects all the senses, but at the same time, it is not overwhelming their mind with too much information. Let me give a short example, for them, a simple set of measuring spoon can be interesting, they differ in size, they are connected to each other that is new for your toddler. It is shiny, smooth, it doesn’t have any taste, but if the baby drops it to the ground, it is noisy, mummy or daddy will pay attention.
When you trying to pick the best toy for you baby, keep in mind the following, things when making the decision:
- Trigger the mind and the imagination of you baby boy or baby girl
- Help them improve their movement and coordination
- What encourages them to solve simple problems
- Helping them to learn how to play by their own and also to share
As you can see it is pretty simple if the toy satisfies at least 2 of the 4 criteria you are on the right track.
Ask some questions
If you feel like you need some help as you are not sure what to look for ask the following 5 questions from yourself before making a decision.
- Will it entertain my toddler on the long-term by offering multiple way to play with?
- Is it simple enough for a toddler to understand it? (it teaches but does not overwhelm)
- Is it durable and easy to clean in case of small accidents, like a small puke or so?
- Does it entertain you baby and you too, to feel encouraged to play along?
- Is it hard to destroy and does it have small parts that can fall off?
If the toy fits the categories, you are making the right decision by buying them or giving them to your child to play with.
Have you noticed that even a Tupperware can live up to the expectations?
- You can put things in it, put them together, build a tower….
- It only has 2 parts, put together, take apart, but teaches them that you have to fit it on the right way
- As it is a plastic box, you can easily clean it by a rinse and there are no tricky corners bacteria’s can stay in
- It is already entertaining you baby, and in fact you play hid and seek with the tops and bottoms in the kitchen, you always miss the one top that fits the bottom you used
- As they can bare extreme temperature changes, it is not likely your toddler will be able to do any harm in them
As you can see even the simplest things can make your toddler happy and keep him or her entertained and live up to your expectations. So there is no need to worry about what to buy during your pregnancy.
How to teach others?
Now you might say okay, now I know what to look for but how to teach the grandparents and relatives the same thing?
- Well the easiest thing is to tell them face to face, to not get the fanciest toys for your baby, as he or she might move on from a certain type of toy in 2 days.
- The other option is to start to give them hints during your pregnancy, use the advantages of being a mummy to be who’s words count the most
- Show them some toys you created, from some beans and plastic bottles. Toddlers always want what they see their mummy and daddy are playing with
- Or by inviting them over to help you make a “Busy board”, they can spend some time at your place, they can give something to the baby, it is a win-win situation
And to help you out even more with ideas on what you can create together with the guests over, or by yourself in the mummy to be phase when you have some spare time, or just can’t sleep during your pregnancy. The internet is a never ending source of ideas, you have YouTube, Pinterest and many other small DIY site and crafty people who can get you some good ideas.