Great toys and games for your two-and-a-half-year-old

As your two-year-old grows, their scope of play is growing with them. This year, Baby is becoming more insightful, and their play is growing to be more evolved. You may notice them paying more attention to toys, and playing with them for longer, as they spend less time moving from object to object in the playroom. Baby is also growing more social, and more curious about how the world around them works. Here are some fun toys and games that will help build off of their budding play skills.

  • Puzzles: At this age, Baby is becoming interested in problem-solving, and they get a thrill when they can figure out something new. Puzzles are a great way to build their confidence as they feel the sense of accomplishment that comes as they solves what are in front of them. Seek out chunky, wooden puzzles with pieces that are easy to manipulate, and follow labels on boxes the will guide you towards puzzles that should match Baby’s level of development. They'll learn about sorting and matching objects, and there are enough different designs and themes, there’s sure to be one or two that will catch their attention.
  • Blocks: Blocks are a classic favorite for a reason – they’re great for children this age in many different ways. To begin with, as Baby builds with them, you can practice counting out loud so they get more familiar with the concept of numbers. Blocks are also great for hand-eye coordination. And are you hosting a playdate? As Baby continues to develop their social skills, you can use blocks to help them start to understand taking turns, sharing, and collaborative play. Baby and their friend can take turns using the blocks, they can divide them up, but eventually, they may just decide that building a really tall tower together is the most fun of all.
  • Cause and effect toys: Baby is grasping the idea of one action leading to a reaction better every day, and cause and effect toys are a great way to build on their curiosity. Choose a few cute wind-up toys, for example, and let them work on those fine motor skills as they turn the dial. They will get a thrill watching the end result as the toys jump, spin, and flip.
  • Make-believe: Toys like dolls and play kitchens are great ways to spark Baby’s imagination as they act out what they see around them each day. Help build their vocabulary in the kitchen as you whip up a yummy (plastic) dinner. You’ll also enjoy watching them apply what they know about caring for a baby based on the way you’ve taken care of them as they grow, as they feed a doll, then tucks it in for a nap.
  • Picture books: It’s no secret that reading books together is a great tool for Baby’s cognitive growth. In addition to expanding their vocabulary, picture books can be fun for word associations, and learning about different themes. Make reading interactive by helping Baby fill in the blanks about the story, or ask them what might happen next. Use silly voices and gestures to keep them interested, and you’ll have a little bookworm on your hands in no time!

The toys Baby plays with, uses often, and loves, are only going to keep evolving as they grow, but at this age, nothing will captivate them more than toys that give them the chance to use that growing brain of theirs.

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