There are so many electronic toys these days that children come to expect every toy to "do" something. When we introduce children to toys and activities that help them imagine, create, and think, we actually teach them to rely on their own imagination. This may seem as a difficult task at first, as it requires more involvement from parents, but it actually translates into children who grow up knowing how to keep themselves busy without being bored. Babies and toddlers love to play so why not teach them through play? Why not introduce them to educational toys and games that they can benefit from AND have fun at the same time? Every child learns in their own way and what works for some kids may not work for others. I found that the items I listed below helped my children not only learn but also enjoy the process. Please keep in mind that many of the activities listed below require adult supervision (some may contain small parts). The jigsaw puzzles below may be worked on as early as 12 months. Guide your child to help them locate certain parts of the picture and soon enough they will be able to put the puzzle together on their own. Alphabet puzzles help familiarize them with letters and the objects they represent, while helping develop fine motor skills (grabbing pegs and placing them into slots). The Bear Family Wooden Dress Up Puzzle by Melissa and Doug is not only fun for babies and toddlers but is also a great tool that helps teach emotions to a young child (angry, sad, sleepy, happy, surprised). Mosaic Pegboard and sticky mosaics help develop fine motor skills, color coordination and matching. See and Spell puzzle, Alphabet Write&Wipe, Playfoam Shape and Learn Alphabet, Match It Spelling are all great ways to learn letter recognition, writing and spelling. Magna Tiles and other magnetic tiles develop problem solving skills, imagination and creativity. Scroll down to see some of our favorite puzzles, activities and toys. I'd love to hear what worked for your children! Feel free to drop a comment below.
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