Toddlers need nearly constant attention. It’s not just because they are finicky and demanding, although that is frequently the case. But their brains are still developing, and it is crucial that they are given interactive toys that expand their horizons. Children are sponges for education, and if you don’t make learning a priority they will fill their time with anything else that happens to be on hand. If you choose wisely they also won’t get bored that easily, which will free you up to take care of some of the chores you always seem to have to put off with little kids around. Yet you’ll constantly be working on a budget, so you can’t simply buy every new gadget under the sun. Here are five inexpensive and educational toys for toddlers to help get you started.
First of all, consider buying your little one a set of dolls that can be dressed and undressed. Now that your baby is no longer truly a baby he or she will soon be learning how to get dressed, tie shoes and handle some of those other daily tasks that are crucial to living.
Kids will always learn most quickly by doing things for themselves, so a set of dressing dolls will help get that process started. And don’t think this is only for the girls out there. Dolls don’t have to just be pretty ladies with frilly dresses. You’ll find all sorts of options that will also appeal to the little men in your life.
2. Alphabet Blocks
One of the best educational toys for toddlers is also one of the most classic, and that’s alphabet blocks. These are about as inexpensive as it gets, but they’re also a crucial learning tool.
Get a nice wooden set with colorful letters, and you’ll help your toddler on the way towards reading and comprehension. They also stack easily, and can fall to pieces over and over again without any damage. There are also number blocks if you want to focus on building math skills.
If your child is showing an inclination for art, you might want to get him an easel. You should be able to find simple plastic easels that set up quickly and won’t easily break either.
With the right supplies on hand this will also keep your toddlers from assaulting the walls in their rooms with crayons or markers. It’s a great way to practice writing, but even drawing pictures is a fun and creative way to learn about the world.
Play-Doh has been around for generations, but it remains just as popular as it ever was. Get a couple of multicolored packs and a few of the standard Play-Doh tools and your toddlers will be entertained for hours on end.
It’s a fantastic help when learning about shapes, and best of all there is really zero chance of a mess. It’s also perfect for building hand-eye coordination and improving basic motor skills, which is a crucial educational step at this age.
5. Edutainment Apps
Finally, get out your iPad and track down some simple edutainment apps. These days there are literally thousands of age-appropriate apps available that will keep a toddler occupied for hours on end.
Best of all, even the most expensive of these apps will only run you about $5, which means you can stock up on new titles whenever previous ones get stale. Check out reviews for everything as well, so you can get a sense of the educational qualities of each app before you purchase.