Children at the age of 2 are well into their toddler years and by the age of three are emerging as a pre-schooler. This means that toys that are best suited to this age bracket are those which focus on those developmental skills that children need in their early educational years. Playthings which promote not just the gross motor skills but also fine motor skills are a great choice as little ones in this age group are ready to start handling smaller equipment and attempting more complex tasks.
Children of this age enjoy sorting items according to a range of criteria, whether by color, shape or size. Toys and games which require the toddler to match shapes to slots or put colored objects together are a great beginning to early mathematics skills.
Toys such as modeling clay or Play-Doh are perfect for little ones in this age group. Making shapes from malleable materials and learning skills such as rolling, flattening and shaping promote fine motor skills and handling simple tools such as rolling pins and cutters are ideal introduction to the skills a child will require to hold a pencil and handle more complication equipment such as scissors.
Simple Jigsaw Puzzles
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Simple jigsaw puzzles with just a few easy to put together pieces are great for cognitive development and also for the development of fine motor skills. By choosing puzzles which require the child to match colors, animals or patterns, it is also possible to promote early math skills too.
Simple Construction Toys
Children aged between 2 and 3 years can benefit greatly from basic construction toys such as building blocks, MegaBlocks or Duplo. Toys that require children to balance items or which improve the child’s ability to connect items together are highly beneficial to the development of motor skills.
Especially appropriate for this age group are ride-on toys such as toy cars which require the child to propel the vehicle with their own feet. This aids gross motor skills while helping to boost independence and is a great way to get little ones out and about in the open air.
Sand And Water Toys
An important part of this stage of a child’s development is the exploration of new textures, so giving them the opportunity of handling a range of materials such as sand and water is very important. Toys such as sand pits and water trays together with cups, jugs, spades, buckets, sieves and other simple equipment allow toddlers to enjoy hands-on play while also improving motor skills through pouring and scooping and introducing early mathematics concepts such as measuring and counting.
Pop Up Toys
Toys which require toddlers to press buttons, move levers or turn dials in order to make a figure pop up are a wonderful way of teaching a child about cause and effect while improving fine motor skills.