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Do you have a toddler that is always on the go?I feel ya! Most little ones are on the go all. the. time. Don’t blink or they will have that drawer emptied and strewn across the room! They certainly keep us on our toes, trying to stay one step ahead of their curious explorations. Well, if you’re looking for ideas on how to keep them happy and busy… you’ve come to the right place! See which of these ideas and creative toys for toddlers stands out to you!
Let’s chat about a few topics like pretend play, helping kids jump into play, musical fun and good ole’ learning and discovery.
When do toddlers begin to Pretend Play?
Pretend play is when our kiddos act out something they have imagined. Whether that be by themselves, with other people, or using toys.
Many toddlers begin to pretend play between the ages of 18-24. Their pretend play usually looks like role-play. This is just an average age range, because clearly kids may do so before and/or after that time frame!
For example, my daughter is 17 months old and for the past while she has really gotten into pretend play! Everything she talks into becomes a phone ie. comb, calculator, stuffed animal, banana, pen, etc.
Her favorite is the calculator! (Likely because it most resembles our cell phones with the shape and buttons to push.) She’ll walk around jabbering away and occasionally throw in a “hi!” or “daddy!”
She “eats” things out of a book, from an empty bowl with a spoon, and whatever else comes to her mind. She’ll pretend to pick something up and “feed” it to her dad and I. She has also now taken to cleaning and sweeping the floor (at least giving her best attempts!). It is amazing to see how much she has already picked up on. As the saying goes, kids will watch and mimic everything you do….it’s so true!
Toys to Encourage Pretend Play
Just like you in the kitchen with this Sink & Stove Set
what a great way to inspire pretend play and let your little one wash and cook right alongside you! This could be an awesome toy to let them safely play, cook, and wash dishes, all while splashing in water.
It comes with 10 pieces and the faucet really works!
Recommended for ages 3+.
Mini Shopping Carts for your growing shoppers
These cute shopping carts are recommended for kiddos between 18-36 months.
Get those little ones shopping! I’m sure your kids want to be just like you. 😉 When I cook, I often wear an apron. As a result my daughter wants to wear an apron too! When you go shopping, you often push a cart. Now your little one can have their own cart and get their own shopping done. One great way to add to the fun is to set items out around the room/house and let your little shopper get to gathering! (The real trick will be convincing them they don’t need to take their own cart to the actual grocery store!)
How can I get my toddler to play with toys?
This may not apply to you. Maybe you have a kiddo that jumps right in and loves to play with anything set before them, that’s great! Every child is different, their own unique little person. This is a wonderful thing, but it can make it difficult when they don’t do something we expect them to just do. Like, playing with toys.
If you have a little one that doesn’t seem too interested in playing with toys, try getting on the floor with them! As with many things in life, sometimes our kiddos just need someone (us) to show them how and play along (literally, in this case:)).
Another trick to try is to limit the amount of toys that are out and available at the same time. A little tike can get overwhelmed by having too many options! Keep a few out and rotate the other toys in over time. Your child won’t be overwhelmed and they’ll get “new” toys all the time!
Get your little builder building with blocks
Here’s your chance to get on the floor and build with your kiddo!
If your “mini me” is anything like mine, he/she loves to build things up….and quickly knock them down. (Sometimes we can’t build it up fast enough and she’s already knocking things over!)
Give them a chance to put their creative thinking caps on and experiment with building all sorts of things.
The different sizes, shapes, and colors will also add to their learning boxes as they explore and discover. My little one enjoys stacking a whole variety of objects, so building blocks are right up her alley!
Music is where it’s at!
Speaking of creativity, have you ever handed your toddler a musical instrument of any kind? Oh the joy they feel!
Some musical instruments may not have started out that way, but with a little imagination and creativity nearly everything can be used to make music.
Buckets, pans, spoons, and dishes crashing onto the floor (keep an ear out for that one! Some things aren’t meant to make music;))
Pound and Tap Bench – $29.99
Music is yet another awesome thing to explore. There is so much to learn from musical instruments! I love to see little faces light up when you hand them an instrument. They love them! Find other great musical instruments for toddlers here.
Creative Toys for Toddlers, isn’t this fun?!
The best learning happens as we explore, discover, and create. All the while understanding more about this big world around us. It can be tricky trying to think up new ideas to keep our kids learning and growing. Luckily we can work together and share ideas, this parenting deal was never meant to be a solo path!