As your two-year-old grows, his scope of play is growing with him. This year, Baby is becoming more insightful, and his play is growing to be more evolved. You may notice him paying more attention to toys, and playing with them for longer, as he spends less time moving from object to object in the playroom. Baby is also growing more social, and more curious about how the world around him works. Here are some fun toys and games that will help build off of his budding play skills.
- Puzzles: At this age, Baby is becoming interested in problem-solving, and he gets a thrill when he can figure out something new. Puzzles are a great way to build his confidence as he feels the sense of accomplishment that comes as he solves what is in front of him. 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. He’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 his 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 he gets 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 his social skills, you can use blocks to help him start to understand taking turns, sharing, and collaborative play. Baby and his 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 his curiosity. Choose a few cute wind-up toys, for example, and let him work on those fine motor skills as he turns the dial. He 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 he acts out what he sees around him each day. Help build his vocabulary in the kitchen as you whip up a yummy (plastic) dinner. You’ll also enjoy watching him apply what he knows about caring for a baby based on the way you’ve taken care of him as he grows, as he feeds 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 his 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 him what might happen next. Use silly voices and gestures to keep him 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 he grows, but at this age, nothing will captivate him more than toys that give him the chance to use that growing brain of theirs.