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Best Toys for Little Ones

When you become a parent, kids toys become inevitable. In your child’s room, in a toy box and, unfortunately, underfoot (LEGO under bare feet? Youch!). The selection of toys gets bigger and bigger, in part thanks to the introduction of more technology in kids toys and the availability through online shopping.
Figuring out what the right or best toy to get for your child (and which ones to avoid) can be tricky. Here are some tips for picking out toys for your little ones:

Toys for Infants

Infants don’t really need toys. You’ll almost certainly want to buy some cute things and get some as gifts, but there is no “must-have” toy for a newborn. As your baby begins to get more curious about the world, offer them soft objects with different textures and colours. Remember that anything you give them is going straight into their mouths, so make sure you get things made of safe materials and always to check to make sure it’s in good shape before handing it over.

Stand Out Item: Wubba-Nub. These combo stuffy/pacifiers are fantastic for littles that use a pacifier. The small, attached stuffy gives them something to hold onto and can be used for extra self-soothing to rub or cuddle up to.

Click on the image below to Check it out on Amazon:

Toys for Toddlers & Older Kids

You want to give you child toys that will entertain them, as well as help their rapidly developing brain. Classic building blocks are a versatile, fun option for almost all ages.
Playing with blocks help children develop motor skills like hand-eye coordination, promotes both creativity and logical thinking and can even help build mathematical and language skills.

For younger kids, wooden block sets or larger plastic blocks like Duplo or Mega Blocks are great for little hands. As they get older, there are even more options from themed Lego sets to vehicle building and even robotics!

Other shape toys and stacking cups are also great, inexpensive options.

At this age, most kids also enjoy things like carts or wagons - anything they can put stuff in and push around. Look for toy grocery carts, small wagons, doll strollers, and other walkers.

Stand Out Item: LEGO and Duplo sets for every age group.

Click on the image below to Check it out on Amazon:

Toys for Tech-Savvy families

Many parents are trying to limit screen time and may be reluctant to introduce more technology into their young child’s life but there are some amazing toys that properly leverage technology to help kids learn and be creative.

For example, there are all kinds of toys out there that introduce coding skills to children. By introducing them in a play-based way, these can be a great starting point for the analytical mind.

There is a whole range of what can be considered “tech toys” that range from basic laptop or tablet learning systems to interactive animal toys to full robot-building kits. It is recommended to find something that still includes a physical element for your kids to actually get their hands on and find something parents can do with them to enrich their learning experience.

Stand Out Item: Wonder Workshop Dash Robot Wonder Pack

Click on the image below to Check it out on Amazon:

Non-Toy Toys

Remember the old commercials where kids would get fancy, expensive toys and then the kid would just want to play in the box? There is a lot of truth in that - kids can be entertained by very simple, inexpensive things. And who doesn’t love a good cardboard box?!
Both tiny toddlers and older preschoolers can learn and get creative with a plain box or toy bin.

Other everyday items can be big fun for toddlers too - a Tupperware drawer/cupboard can keep some littles entertained for ages (or at least long enough for you to make dinner). Or let them at your closet every now and then - wearing shoes that are way too big is fun for every toddler I’ve ever met. Scarfs, hats and bags are also a big hit - even toddlers know accessorizing is key.

The point is, sometimes you don’t need to overthink it - a child can find opportunities for play with almost anything. More important than the toy itself is the time you spend exploring and learning together.

Before you go out and spend on toys for your kids, look to see if you can pick up any second hand. LEGO sets and other plastic toys are great hand-me-downs that are easy to clean and can last years. In fact, anything solid that can be cleaned and/or bleached can be as good as new, but with a much lower price point. For soft items, just make sure the fabric is washable.

With anything second hand, give it a good inspection to make sure it’s in good shape without any chips or breaks that could be a safety issue.

 

About The Author

Stephanie Clark I'm a mom, digital content specialist, and editor based in Vancouver, Canada where I live with my partner, daughter, and begrudgingly, a cat that my partner brought with him into my life. I've got over a decade of experience writing - and training others on how to craft quality content - for web. Love writing fun, friendly content that is accessible for all users and promoting parent- and kid-friendly products. What don't I love? That cat.

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