Play is an important part of learning for children and age appropriate toys can help aid their learning and development. Here are some examples of the types of toys suitable for two year olds and the learning benefits they have.
Dressing Up Clothes
The imaginations of two year olds are beginning to develop and pretend play can help their imagination skills advance further. So toys such as dressing up clothes and fancy dress are great for them, as they will both enjoy putting them on and assembling mad outfits and acting out pretend play scenarios whilst wearing them.
Soft Toys And Dolls
Soft toys and dolls are also welcomed by two year olds, as they can be used as part of their pretend play scenarios.
Mini Musical Instruments
Small, wooden or plastic musical instruments, such as a xylophone, drum or concertina are great for children aged two years and over. They help develop a child’s sense of rhythm, are a good introduction to early music making and also help to develop hand and eye coordination.
Although many parents may shy away from the idea of a noisy drum, they have added benefits of improving a child’s spatial perception and the muscles in their arm. If you don’t want to be drowned out by noisy banging, look for products where the drumstick has a rubber beater, as this will help soften the sound.
Hammer And Peg Toys
There are lots of small hammer and peg toys, often made of wood, available for children aged two years and above. Again, although it can be a tad on the noisy side, this has developmental benefits for children too. Small pegs have to be banged into holes and it helps a child’s motor skills (fitting the peg into the hole) and their coordination skills (banging the peg down into the board with the hammer).
Farm sets, which complete with an array of different animals, fake grass, sheds, fences, tractors and other farmyard attractions are often enjoyed by this age group. As a play activity, it’s ideal for two year olds, as their creative role play and imagination skills are beginning to develop and they can explore different scenarios with their farmyard.
Dominos with pictures on them and other similar games are fun for playing with, but also involve a learning element too. For example, they often come with different pictures on them, featuring different colours, and the aim is to match the pictures up. As well as helping children learn what the different pictures are it can also boost their knowledge of colours too.
There’s a wide variety of hand puppets available and children will enjoy playing with them. They can be just alongside reading stories, to act out the different characters, or as a play tool in their own right. They’ll help encourage imagination and creativity skills.
Jigsaws for the two year plus age range are usually characterised by being big and bold and they often feature images from everyday life. For example, a brightly coloured jigsaw of a shop, a car or animals at the zoo will be fun to put together, help children learn names or items in the picture and also improve their knowledge and understanding of the world around them.