Check Table of Contents
- What are Stepping Stone Toys?
- Recommended Age for Stepping Stones
- Reasons you Should Buy Stepping Stones
- Factors to Consider when Buying Stepping Stones for Toddlers?
Hop, skip, jump! Hop, skip, jump! Does this sound familiar?
For me, it does! Even from my childhood!
I have also watched my son and his cousins endlessly play “hop, skip, jump” in our backyard.
They’re usually playing with some colorful sets of stones – referred to as stepping stones.
Let me fill you in on what are stepping stone toys and why you should get your little one a set of these toys. Enjoy!
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What are Stepping Stone Toys?
Stepping stones are amazing flat-stone-like toys designed to help kids develop balance and coordination and also assess height and distance.
Kids hop, skip and jump on these colorful stones, all the time making sure not to step on the floor.
Some make it even more fun by assuming that the floor is hot lava, all the time avoiding stepping on it and opting to remain stepping on the stones.
Recommended Age for Stepping Stones
Stepping stones are appropriate for all kids, as long as they can walk on their own!
The younger the child, the closer together the stones should be.
Also, put them in a straight line.
As they grow, space the stones out and put crazy obstacle courses to make it more interesting!
You’re probably wondering, should I really get a set of stepping stones for my little one?
Well, read on.
Reasons you Should Buy Stepping Stones
They Improve Balance and Coordination
Children often lift one or both of their hands while playing with stepping stones. This exercises their balance and coordination skills.
You could even create varying heights, rotate to make different slopes, put the flat-side up or down to double the fun and increase their balancing skills even more!
They Grow Motor Skills
As they glide, hop and jump on the stepping stones, kids are also growing their motor skills.
Hopping and jumping exercises the large muscles on the torso, arms and legs, which are good examples of gross motor skills.
In fact, thanks to stepping stones, my son learnt how to jump before he turned 2 years old!
They Build Concentration
Before they hop, they have to be still, focus and concentrate on where and how to step on the next stone.
This is good exercise for their brain’s concentration abilities.
They Keep Kids Physically Active and Away from Screens
As kids hop, skip and jump on the stepping stones, they’re keeping physically fit. They’re running around having fun while playing actively.
This exercise keeps lifestyle diseases such as childhood obesity away.
They’re also having so much fun away from the TV or iPad!
Now that you know the benefits of stepping stones for kids, let’s see what you should look for when buying these lovely toys.
Factors to Consider when Buying Stepping Stones for Toddlers?
To reduce the risk of falling and possible injury, stepping stones with underneath non-slip pads are perfect!
These pads also protect your floor from scratches.
Thickness of the Stones
The stepping stones should have a standard thickness of about 0.5 to 1.5 inches.
Many of the stepping stones have a perfect circular shape, with a diameter of 6 to 12 inches.
You could ask your toddler the colors they prefer, or even match them to their playroom décor!
Lastly, maybe you’re thinking if stepping stones and balancing stones are one and the same thing. Well, don’t worry. I got you.
Stepping Stones Vs Balancing Stones
Balancing stones are odd-shaped stacking and balancing pieces that kids play with using their hands.
They can be placed on the tabletop and then the kids use their hands to carefully position them to ensure none topples over.
Therefore, unlike stepping stones which kids play with using their feet, balancing stones engage the hands.