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  • The 10 Developmental Toys Your 2-Year-Old Will Ever Need

    The best toys for 2-year-olds improve and develop your child's brain.
    by Kate Borbon .
The 10 Developmental Toys Your 2-Year-Old Will Ever Need
PHOTO BY iStock
  • The toddler years are some of the most exciting parts of a child’s development — it is when kids start to express curiosity about the world around them and become more active in playing and exploring. That's why toys are vital tools in play.

    Gadgets, however, should not be considered your child's primary "toy." They encourage kids to stay passive and can hinder them from seeking out opportunities to learn actively. Instead of giving your child a tablet or a smartphone, experts say that the best toys you can give her are those that encourage her creativity and imagination.

    What are the best toys for 2-year-olds

    According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the best toys for 2-year-olds improve and develop your child's brain and skills in language, problem-solving, and social interaction. You want these toys to guide your 's transition from infancy to toddlerhood. Therefore, toys like art materials, blocks and bricks, puzzles, and shape sorters are a parent’s best bet.

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    Board books

    Even simple books with nothing but large, colorful pictures or illustrations can be entertaining for kids this age and can help them start learning basic words and even develop early reading skills. Plus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that toddlers have the ability to turn the pages by themselves, so reading time can also be an interactive experience!

    Construction toys

    This type of toys, which includes bricks and blocks, help develop not only toddlers’ motor skills but also their cognition. Dr. Kathy Hirsch-Pasek, a professor of psychology, tells New York Magazine, “[Kids] are learning spatial development by using construction toys, and when they do that they’ll be better later on in their understanding of spatial language — up, around, in, on, through — they’re better at understanding rotation and all this later predicts better math scores.”

    Puzzles

    Puzzles help improve problem-solving and logical thinking skills, both in kids and in adults. These also help develop spatial relation skills (an understanding of how things fit together), hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills.

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    Pegboards

    Children enjoy stacking things on top of one another, making pegboards perfect toys for them. This simple game can also help develop their fine motor skills and coordination, since it requires them to hold objects and put them in the holes.

    Shape sorters

    Another activity that toddlers seem to enjoy doing endlessly is putting things into containers then taking them out and repeating the cycle again and again, so toys like shape sorters can be really fun for them. This also aids in developing their problem-solving skills and allows them to explore shapes as much as they want.

    Musical instruments

    What child doesn’t enjoy music? Whether you give your little one some maracas or a small keyboard to fiddle around with, your toddler will surely have a blast! Playing with musical instruments not only helps enhance a child’s hearing but also teaches her cause and effect and provides an avenue for her to be creative.

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    Ball

    If you want to have some fun under the sun, why not get a ball for you and your little one to kick around? These toys can give her a chance to practice and develop her physical skills.

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    Pretend playsets

    It is usually during the toddler years when kids begin to play make-believe — maybe they treat their dolls and stuffed animals as real babies or pretend that they’re a doctor, a princess, or their favorite movie character. Encourage your child to be as imaginative as she can when she plays — this is not only entertaining to watch and join but is also a way for her to improve her skills in language and to put events in logical sequence.

    When choosing a pretend playset to give your child, don’t limit yourself to action figures and toy kitchens. You can also try giving her a set of kid-size cleaning tools like brooms and dust pans. Who knows, that might encourage her to learn how to clean up after herself at home!

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    Push- or pull-toys

    Since toddlers are still in the process of learning how to stand and walk by themselves, it can help to give them toys like wagons and carts that they can push around. These toys will also encourage your child to be active and to become more confident with her own body.

    Art materials

    Another way to let your child exercise her creativity is by giving her toys she can use to create things, such as art tools, which will aid in strengthening their hands and fingers as well. Aside from crayons and markers, you can also try giving her play dough or clay that she can mold into whatever creation she wants.

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