If you go to any local store and look in the toy department you might be overwhelmed with the choices. I have highlighted five fun toys for play with children, including some that you can make on your own.
Blocks are great for getting the creative juices going. Building towers and knocking them down, or building a house, helps children work on their motor skills.
Discovery boxes are another great toy that kids enjoy. The set I use for my pre-reading classes for toddlers highlight four colors: red, blue, green, and yellow. Each box includes a cloth crayon, ball, fruit, and animal so children can sort the objects by color. If this toy is too expensive, you can create your own boxes by collecting items the kids already have and put them in different boxes by like colors.
For older children play dough is a great choice. Whether store bought or home made, children love it and can spend hours playing with it. Children can use their imagination to create whatever they can think up.
Magnetic letters, shapes, or stories can also be enjoyed by children. Putting them on the frig or other magnetic surface gives parents and caregivers the opportunity to talk about the different sounds the letters make. It gives children something to do in the kitchen while the adult is cooking.
Puzzles are a great way for kids of all ages to work on their problem solving and fine motor skills. If you don’t want to pick up the pieces from a puzzle, an alternative is the Farm Maze puzzle. The pieces for this puzzle are contained and can be moved around the board.
Playing is an important way children learn about the world. It helps children develop early literacy skills that they can take with them when they begin to read.