toddler playing with blocks
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Learning toys for your one-and-a-half year-old

Learning toys for your one-and-a-half year-old

Playtime is a perfect chance for your child to learn the beginnings of art, science, math and to develop ideas about shapes, colors, and textures.

The classics

Some especially useful toys that encourage learning are things that you may have grown up with, too – wooden blocks and Legos and other Lego-like blocks are great learning toys. Building towers either with wooden blocks or with Legos provide your child time to experiment with the introductory principles of physics. For example, when Baby experiments with block stacking, she’s learning about comparisons in weight and shape. Making the “tallest possible tower” is an exercise in stability in construction and a lesson in succeeding and feeling proud of themselves.

Serious construction

Plastic nuts and bolts make another great learning toy. They’re no guarantee that your tot will grow into someone who’s handy in home-repair, but they’re certainly not going to hurt, and these simple toys help your toddler’s little fingers get used to threading and turning, actions which use the tips of her fingers rather than the palm of her hand. Additionally, finding just the right nut for a particular bolt is often an exercise in matching and figuring out categories, as different plastic nuts and bolts are typically are differently colored as well as differently shaped. If they’re working together, multiple children can begin work on sharing the nuts and bolts. Sharing doesn’t come too naturally to toddlers, so activities that give them lots of practice in these early years are a great place to start.

The life of the mind

Finally, another type of toy that encourages learning is puzzles. Giant floor puzzles give little fingers a chance to push and scoot bigger pieces together easily. The same can be said for the wooden puzzles, which often feature familiar cartoon characters, if that’s something that’s likely to get your tot interested. Puzzles can be a part of a quiet time routine, and smaller ones are easily portable to bring to situations where a toddler may have to practice patience.

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