Present only a few toys at a time so that
your child is not overwhelmed
and can really connect
and develop an attention span playing with those toys.
less is more
toys make children feel good about themselves. Young children love
adults. This little boy owns one special doll
that is his "baby"
to take care of and love just as he is loved.
teaches children about the many roles they
will have throughout their
lives. Other "pretend toys" that
include toy musical instruments,
tools, cooking utensils, telephone,
cash register and
Good toys are fun
even when used repeatedly. They have lasting
power. The Pop-Up Pals toy is very exciting to
this toddler. He has learned that pushing the button will
make the head pop up. This is similar to the anticipation and
joy experienced when winding up a Jack in the Box. But here
three different heads popping up, so he has choices and
he is learning
about the spatial relationship of the three
positioned left to right. Motor
movements: reaching, pushing the buttons and playing with the figures
develops strength and coordination.
Good toys encourage
and imagination. A toy archery set or
in this case a bow
made from a stick and string encourages the child to pretend.
This little boy made his own target and the arrow is
Good toys can be
different ways as the child grows older.
can be stacked into a tower,
lined up or built into structures. Some blocks make
connect to form a picture. Babies like to bang blocks together.
can put blocks into alphabetical order. Very large
blocks or boxes develops
motor skills; whereas stacking smaller
develops arm and hand control.
pyramids teach a child about
spatial relationships, balance
These picture blocks are arranged like
a puzzle to make a picture like the model on the
Click on picture to
Good toys and games
for older children encourage cooperative play and
social interaction. The
game Forward Pass, also called Zoom
Ball requires two children to play together.
Each child grasps two
handles. When when they spread the arms apart
the ball zooms to the
other player. In this case, the toy was made out of
two soda bottles
inserted into one another, rope and handles made out of laundry
bottles. The movements are great for strengthening shoulders and
visual attention as
the ball shoots back and forth. Other games
that promote social interaction include: air hockey,
Scratch ball and most board games. Click
on picture above for detailed pictures to make this toy.
Good toys make your
child curious and want to learn more.
Booby Trap game involves removing different sized discs from the trap
without disturbing the spring bar. The player must analyze where the
stress points are. There is strategy involved in deciding whether or
not to attempt removing the disc or to pass. Players take turns removing pieces and then add up
points; gaining more points for removing larger discs and
for removing smaller discs. Other good games involving
coordination include: Jenga, Pick-Up Sticks, Barrel of
marbles, Operation and Jacks.
Good toys develop
and strength. Using Tinker Toys
and rubber bands this
boy made a machine that rolls. Connecting the parts develops strength
and eye-hand coordination. Construction toys such as
Llegoes, K'nex and Bristle blocks can be used in an unlimited
variety of ways depending on the child's age and ability. These
toys encourage sustained attention in order to complete a project to be
Good toys are
attractive, pleasing to touch and may
make pleasant sounds. These magnetic blocks feel good when
placed together and pulled apart. They fit comfortably in the child's
hands. They are creative and versatile. They don't make any obnoxious
sounds and are attractive colors. Other attractive toys include: soft
puppets, foam puzzles, bubbles, baby rattles with soft textures and
sounds, wind up tub toys, play dough and tools.
Good toys are durable and
safe. Toys with small parts will usually say
that they are meant for children over the age of three years. Good toys do
not have sharp points and are nontoxic if consumed. This
toy, Keys of Learning requires the child to match the key color to
shape, turn the key to remove the shape above and place the shape in a
small board on top. Other games that teach concepts and develop coordination include: shape sorters,
puzzles, dressy dolls, nesting
cups, stencils, numbered peg boards, lacing
boards and numerous arts
crafts. Click on photo to see
Good toys do not
have to be
expensive nor complex. Young children love
objects like banging on pots and pans, stacking plastic containers and
pressing the keys on a typewriter or piano.
Other inexpensive simple toys
include newspaper, paper bags, tape, crayons, old greeting cards, a
beach ball, bubbles, tape, glue, play dough and soapy water with empty
shampoo bottles to squirt. Time honored games such as cards,
Dominoes, Bingo and Checkers are inexpensive and have withstood the
test of time. Children can make their own homemade versions of
each of these games.
turn taking, following directions and strategy. Games
can also reinforce reading and
math concepts while
having fun. Many
card and board games develop these
Young children can sort cards into
black and red piles.
Older children can sort into four piles
suits- hearts, diamonds, spades and clubs...
piles of numbers and pictures.
toys are right for
age; not too hard, not too easy, interesting, versatile and challenging.