How To Choose Toys For Toddlers – 8 Tips

It’s not unusual finding parents and their little ones loading up carts at a toy store. Right?

Personally, I am big on buying toys for my son. In fact, sometimes I feel like he has more than enough, but I still buy a few toys here and there, occasionally.

But have you ever considered whether toddlers really need toys? Or how to choose the right toys for your toddler?

Read on to understand whether toddlers need toys, what types of toys they need, and also identify those that are good for both infants and toddlers.

By Lilian.

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Do Toddlers Need Toys?

Absolutely. Toddlers need toys!

Here are 4 fundamental reasons, why.

Toddlers need Toys to Grow their Motor Skills

When toddlers play with toys, they exercise the muscles on their fingers and hands. This increases fine motor skills.

Toddlers need Toys to Exercise their Problem-Solving Skills

Toys teach toddlers to think through a step-by-step process when facing a problem.

For instance, when trying to solve a puzzle.

These are very important skills for solving problems in real life!

Toddlers need Toys to Improve their Social Skills

Have you watched 2/3-year-olds, some who cannot even speak clearly, play with their peers?

Well, when children are playing with toys, they have opportunities to express themselves to their peers. This grows their social skills.

Toddlers need Toys to Increase their Physical Activity

Are you concerned that your little one is constantly glued to the screen? Here’s the solution. Get them toys!

Playing with toys motivates toddlers to get off the sofa and play. These activities keep toddlers fit and healthy, keeping obesity away!

Now that you know toddlers really need toys, can we get specific on the types of toys they really need?

What Toys to Get?

Toys that have Multiple Uses

Toddlers love toys that allow open-ended play. They want toys they can play multiple games with.

For instance, building blocks can be used to make different objects – ships, castles, roads, bridges, etc.

Such toys are great for logical thinking and problem-solving skills!

Toys that Grow with the Child

Who wants to spend their hard-earned dollars on toys every three days?


So, you need to get toys that grow with your child. They’re fun both for toddlers and preschoolers.

Some fantastic examples include action figures, dollhouses, tractor and train sets, dolls, and stuffed animals.

Toys that Stimulate Imagination and Exploration

At the toddler stage, creativity has already kicked off. This means that your little one can now imagine stuff or explore playing different roles.

This is the perfect time to get them toys that help them engage in pretend play and act out stories.

Examples include toy kitchen sets, action figures, dolls, toy fire hoses, etc.

Toys that Look Like Real Stuff

At the toddler stage, children already perceive how stuff around them works – brooms, mops, phones, TV remotes, laptops, etc. They want to use them just like you!

Well, to save your ‘real’ stuff from all the manhandling, get them toys that look like the real stuff.

Examples include toy keys, phones, remotes, TVs, laptops, brushes, and brooms.

Toys that Encourage Physical Activity

Unlike infants, toddlers are more confident with their bodies. They’re stronger and more physically active.

Well, take advantage of this toddler stage to get them toys that motivate them to explore their physical skills.

For instance, gardening tools, basketball hoops commensurate to your child’s size, balls of varying sizes and shapes, bowling sets, etc.

Let me help you identify a few exploration toys for your toddlers.

Types of Exploration Toys for Toddlers

Building Blocks

Building blocks are top on the list of exploratory toys for toddlers.

You must have seen some awesome designs made by toddlers using blocks?

Well, I have seen my niece build a spaceship and a castle!

And do you know what’s best about building blocks? They’re also great for preschoolers.

Gardening Sets

Want to create good memories of that backyard kitchen garden? Make gardening set toys a priority.

Gardening sets make exploring the garden fun.

Some of the toys included in the set include forks, trowels, spades, hoes, shovels, etc.

Fortunately, these toys will serve them even at preschool age.

Camping Toys

I love camping, don’t you? Well, toddlers too love camping!

They love the unstructured play they enjoy at outdoor camps. As a parent, you can help them “play camp” using camping toys.

Hoops, kites and sand toys are good examples of camping toys that toddlers find fascinating.

Toys for Both Infants and Toddlers

Well, before you head out to get new toys for your toddler, check if you have toys that served them well as infants that could still be great for toddlers.

Examples include plush toys, simple musical instruments, and rattle toys.


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