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The truth is that less is more. Your child does NOT need toys upon toys! In fact, too many toys can actually be a big negative. Believe it or not, children can get overwhelmed with too many toys and can end up moving quickly from one toy to another which can actually limit their play (and language) opportunities overall.
Pick Open Ended Toys
What are open ended toys? They are toys that have no beginning, middle or end. They can be used in a variety of ways and allow your child creative freedom in how to manipulate and use them. These toys tend to be the more basic and traditional toys. Which is NEXT on my list!
Go Back to the Basics: Pick Traditional Toys
As mentioned above, the more traditional toys also tend to be more open ended in nature. Here are some examples of open ended, basic traditional toys:
- Wooden blocks
- Cars, trucks, transportation toys (they do NOT need to make noise! That is what your child is for. Take the batteries out!)
- Simple train tracks and trains (we have wooden set with NO batteries. However, I do have a plastic set WITH and without batteries to use with clients. Let’s be honest..it *is* fun to watch the trains go around the track sometimes!)
- Play kitchen and play food
- Farm Set (no noisy ones!) or other animal sets that suit your child’s interests (dinosaurs for example)
- Doll House
- Mr. Potato Head
- Play Dough
- Dress up clothes
- Tool Set
- Tea Set
- Baby doll/baby blanket
Skip The “ABCs and 123’s”
On the subject of going back to basics…Go take a walk through Target or any big chain store’s toy department. There is this aisle (ok, several sometimes) with shelves stacked high with toys that say things like “Teaches the ABCs!” “Educational!” “Teaches Colors and Numbers!” and on and on.
Use Toys That get Them Moving
It is so important to get your kids moving! Even when indoors. Making forts and tunnelsare great ways to keep them moving indoors, without actually having to *buy* specific “toys” for that purpose. We also have some ride-on toys that we allow in the house (we have tile/hardwood floors) that keep our children moving as well as balls (yes, even inside).
Don’t Forget to Get Outside
You don’t have to *buy* outdoor toys. Heading to the park is great and FREE! But sometimes you don’t have a park near by or it is difficult to get you and the kids there…so here are some of my favorite outdoor toys:
- Water table (A big bucket will do, or a small pool)
- Buckets, cups, spoons (again, these can just be from your kitchen…tupperware works well!)
- Small shovel/hoe for digging
- Ride on toys
- Play house– This one is a bigger purchase. We have one and it can provide HOURS of independent, creative play!