Playing is the most important activity for a toddler. It is through this that they develop an understanding of their capabilities and start to make sense of the world around them. This particular stage in a toddler's life is all about exploration, imitating, experimenting and most of all setting their own rules to help them understand how things work. Playtime for these little ones does not consist of just toddler toys; it involves activities like games played with parents as well. All of these go a long way in developing physical, mental, language and social skills of toddlers. Some of the toddler toys and activities one could use are: blocks, music, puzzles, puppets etc.
Development of Physical Skills
Physical skills in toddlers are developed as they learn actions like crawling, reaching out, grasping and balance, running and climbing. These motor skills further help in the development of finer motor skills like the use of fingers as the toddler begins handling objects. Toddler toys play a very important role in the development of these very basic physical skills. Push and pull toys encourage walking, running and grasping. While toys like maracas encourage grasping. Smalltime Child has a variety of these toddler toys to choose from.
Development of Mental Skills
Problem solving is the easiest way for toddlers to develop their mental skills. Toddlers also need to understand cause and effect. Toddler toys that encourage this are activity sets like peg boards, blocks, interlocking objects, shapes etc. Interacting with objects such as these toddlers learn to recognise and understand different objects with respect to their shape, size and colour.
Development of Language Skills
Language skills develop as toddlers interact and play with others, be it their parents or peers. Development of these skills don't necessary develop from toddler toys. They can also be developed from simple games that are played between parent and child or between child and child. These simple games can be further developed into activities like story telling. There are toddler toys that help with language development as well. These can be in the form of puzzles that are illustrated; e.g. with pictures of animals, birds, everyday objects, numbers, the alphabet etc. Toddlers are encouraged to speak as they recognise the various shapes. Smalltime Child stocks such puzzles that one might find useful.
Development of Social Skills
Toddlers' social skills develop mainly through interaction. Skills like cooperating, following instructions, taking turns, negotiating, playing fair are all learnt during play and interacting with others. Sharing play time experiences and toys are the most important aspect of developing socials skills. You must remember that toddlers at their age are very imaginative and can be moulded the way you want them to be. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that these playtime experiences have a positive impact on the child. This in turn leaves the child with a feeling of success. Positive feelings leads to the stimulation of imagination and creativity and help toddlers expand their thinking of the environment that they live in.