You know the scene, I’m sure many of you have seen it in your very own home. A playroom (or more) strewn with toys. More toys than a child could possibly play with. More toys than any child should probably have. You may beg friends and family, please, no more toys. But they keep coming, shiny new toys replace the old, each one played with for a while, then forgotten when new toys arrive.
There are some toys that children will pick up and return to over and over again. It is hard for parents to predict which toys will last and which won’t. At Imagine Toys, we believe that the toys that most engage children and keep them coming back are not the ones which talk, light up, beep, and have the most bells and whistles. We believe that toys which may look like nothing much will ignite children’s imaginations and let them learn through play.
While there is value to beautifully drawn and colorful blocks with numbers and letters etched into the sides, plain blocks are important for kids’ play, especially preschoolers. Plain blocks are perfect because they don’t restrict a child’s imagination. With a huge pile of blocks, a kid can build anything. They can build towers and knock them over, houses and garages for their dolls and toy cars, and cities. They are unlimited by anything but their imagination.
Blocks are fun to play with alone or with friends. Kids learn skills related to architecture, gravity, STEM, imagination, and more. We really love the Un-Blocks. These plain, unpainted interlocking blocks allow kids to build any model, and then play with it. The blocks connect by sliding into place, so they will stay together until the next time your child is ready to build. These are the perfect blocks to age with your child. As a younger kid, your child will be building more basic structures. As she gets older, she can start building more sophisticated structures and arrangements.
Any toy that gets your child moving is a great toy. Obviously, riding toys encourage physical activity, which is important for health. But there are other benefits, like giving children a feeling of independence. Anyone who has taken care of a toddler knows that every child has a natural and healthy struggle for independence from his parents. Every time your toddler yells no! He is asserting her independence.
Although your toddler won’t be riding to the neighborhood park unsupervised, scooting a few feet ahead of you on the sidewalk is a win for them. When your little one moves under her own power in a way that she may not be used to, she can see her neighborhood in a different way. We recommend the GLX Y-Glider Kids Scooter. This scooter has two wheels in front and a low footplate for added stability.
We won’t go so far as to say you can never have too many art supplies, but almost. Art is a universally beloved activity among children and every child should have access to crayons, markers, paints, finger paints, colored papers, stamps, play-dough and more.
Art allows children of all ages to express themselves creatively, develop fine motor skills, and communicate. Not to mention it can keep your child occupied long enough for you to finish making dinner.
For this category we recommend our Orange Multi-Use Easel. This is not just any easel, it is also a chalkboard, whiteboard, and puppet theatre. Your child can color his own scenes to include in the background of puppet shows.
Music has a demonstrable effect on people of all ages, even babies before they are born. It helps release energy, boost confidence, and it’s just fun! Anything can be a musical instrument, from pots and pans to tin cans full of uncooked beans.
We recommend the Boomwhackers Whack Pack. Boomwhackers are actual musical instruments played by professional musicians, in spite of the silly name. They are large plastic tubes that are scientifically tuned to exact musical pitches. They look like xylophones, but sound like a percussion instrument. The Boomwhackers can be played with mallets or by taking the individual tubes and banging them together.
Baby dolls are great for children, both boys and girls. Kids act out parenting skills that they see their parents use and it helps build nurturing skills. As they feed, rock and care for their babies, they are building skills that they use to care for others. Baby dolls can also help with motor skills that they will use as they learn more about getting dressed, tying shoes, zipping zippers, and other difficult tasks they will learn.
We recommend Camille Ballerina, a lovely doll designed in Paris. Camille Ballerina is dressed for a ballet recital and has rooted hair that can be brushed and styled. Dressing and undressing this doll is perfect for practicing complex motor skills.
Toys that Every Toy Room Should Have
Although this is not an exhaustive list of all the toys your child needs to learn and play, it is a great start. Use these toys to spruce up your child’s playroom with all the toys she needs to grow her imagination and learn.