Your baby is now a toddler, and most likely by now she walks, runs, and climbs. So what kind of toys will a young toddler like, and benefit from, most?
Your child likes copying what you do, and toys that encourage pretend play are great. Dolls are good pretend play toys, especially if your child has a little brother or sister, baby cousin, or another baby they are around a lot. She may even like a doll stroller to push around or a doll cradle to put her “baby” to sleep in. Other good toys for pretend play include toy kitchen or toy pots and pans, dress-up sets, or a set of toy tools.
Help encourage the budding artist in your little one by getting him a variety of art supplies. Crayons are a good first art supply, along with a coloring book featuring your toddler’s favorite character or something else he’s interested in, like animals or cars. There are thick crayons meant for children just learning to draw. Look for crayons that are washable as well, as you can’t yet trust your toddler to stick to coloring his books. Another good art supply is finger paint. Set out some newspapers on the floor, strip your toddler down to his diaper, set out some blank paper and finger paint in front of him, and watch him have fun. Make sure the paint is non-toxic. Some people use pudding as paint, so if their child eats some, it’s ok.
Besides art, there are many other ways to help encourage creativity in your 18-24 month old. Building blocks, musical toys like drums, and play dough encourage your child to use his imagination.
By now your toddler probably knows how to properly hold a book and turn the pages herself. Encourage her love for reading by keeping your house stocked with books. Board books are best, as many toddlers still occasionally rip pages out of paper books. Interactive books, like texturized books and lift-the-flap books are always fun.
There are many new things for your toddler’s mind to take in. Among these are ABC’s, numbers, shapes, and colors. A set of foam numbers and letters, or a numbers or alphabet puzzle are good toys. A shape sorter is great for learning shapes. There are also electronic toys which teach these things.