Best Toys and Games for Children
A good selection of well-chosen toys and games will help to create a 'learning environment' in your home, where children will develop skills they need in life while having fun!
No, you don't need to rush out and invest in a whole range of learning 'hardware', but as the years pass try to invest in some of the items suggested below.
Create a list that you can give to family members and grandparents when they want to buy gifts for your children.
I am sure that every parent and grandparent loves buying gifts for their children, but so often I see parents spending vast sums of money on branded products, especially of the superhero kind, that are, in my opinion, junk that just feeds the materialistic appetite that most westerners develop!
Below are some criteria to consider when buying toys and games:
- Is it good quality and relatively childproof? Cheap products don't last!
- Will it develop a skill that my child needs at this age?
- Will my child be capable of looking after this type of toy?
- Until what age will my child still enjoy this item? It better to invest in toys and games that will span a range of ages.
Always get the best quality that you can afford so that the toys will last.
Recommended Toys for Children
Outdoor play equipment
If at all possible, get one or some of the following:
- A ride on bike is a must for small kids - it gets them going!! My kids have plastic Y-bikes and they are great in many ways.
- Jungle gym / climbing frame
- Sand pit with spades, buckets and sand toys
- Hanging rings
Alternatively, visit a children's play park as often as you can.
- Rocking horse
- Ride on
- Push scooter/motor bike
- Wheelbarrow or doll's pram to push
- Wagon to pull
- Balls of various sizes and textures
- Wooden blocks or smooth-sanded wood off-cuts
- Construction blocks like Duplo, Lego or similar
- Wooden knob-puzzles
- Geometric stackers
- Stacking cups
- Bath toys - even plastic cups
- Toy telephone - for conversational practice!
All of the above plus the following:
- Play dough
- Chalkboard and chalks or
- Dry erase boards and markers
- Paints, crayons and craft materials, safety scissors
- Large lacing beads
- Dolls or soft toys
- Hand puppets - great for developing speech and imagination
- Dress up clothes
- Cars and trucks - buy the best quality you can - cheapies don't last!
- Tea set and/or kitchen equipment
- Small chairs and table
- Gardening tools if you have a garden for them
- Construction toys - zoobs, train sets, car tracks, etc.
- Xylophone - with accurate pitch and good sound quality (not a cheapie)
- Good quality/classic story books
- Tricycle or bicycle with side-wheels
Any of the above plus the following items.
- Skipping rope
- Finger paints
- Lacing activities
- Matching games
- Easy board games - snakes & ladders, ludo, Chinese checkers etc.
- Sport equipment - golf set, cricket set, bat and ball sets