toy guide toddlers

A Guide To Must-Have Toys For Tiny Tots & Toddlers

Welcome to The Mummylogues. A series dedicated to candid conversations, relatable tips and resources for navigating pregnancy and parenting. Co-curated by Jayantika Jatia – founder of Pop Up Kids – this edit presents the ultimate guide to toys for keeping your toddlers happily engaged, whilst teaching them a spectrum of skills!

If I had to sum up my experience as a new mum, I’d say it’s something of a learning curve spanning all departments and walks of life. Shopping for Jr has been no exception, particularly given the critical role of a well-curated basket of toys in spurring the development of our little ones through different stages.

With thoughtful inputs from mum-of-two Jayantika Jatia, founder of the eclectic e-commerce platform, Pop Up Kids, gathered here is a bucket list of toys (including from celebrated local brands such as Sensory Play and Toycra) which are as enjoyable as they are challenging and stimulating.

Many activities highlighted are STEM-approved (an approach to learning that integrates science, technology, engineering and mathematics to foster problem-solving and creativity), in addition to covering other essential skills from colour differentiation to hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Imaginative and pretend play is also encouraged, sparking curiosity and emotional development.

Bookmark this toy guide as one to refer back to whenever you are in need of gifting inspiration for toddlers, or simply looking to treat your little ones whilst also teaching them a new skill or two.

Do scroll through to the bottom, for an exclusive reader discount on selected toys featured.

Toy Guide For Toddlers, Sorted by Skillset

Imaginative Play

  • Viga Architecture Block Set (250pcs): Did you know that wooden toys help babies to focus better, encouraging them to play for longer stretches and also helping them to relax? If you’e looking to bring more wooden toys into your kids’ play routine, these wooden blocks are a great place to start as they can be used to build any shapes, buildings or even animals! In addition to fostering creativity, this architectural block set also encourages better hand-eye coordination skills. {3 years+}
toy guide toddlers

Logical Thinking

  • Acorn Soup Game: Counting, pretend play, sorting and fine motor skills are just a few of the benefits of this interactive game which teaches toddlers to identify and count ingredients as they mix, stir and cook by referring to simple recipe cards. {2 years+}
  • Brainsmith Wooden Shape Sorter Lorry: Help your child to recognise and sort through different shapes and colours. Playtime with this lorry can boost physical, cognitive, emotional and language development. {2 years+}
  • Magna Tiles Clear Colors 32 Piece Set: Sparks hours of imaginative free play in children. Anything they can dream, they can create! Not to mention Magna Tiles are STEM approved, helping to develop math, science, spatial and tactile skills. {3 years+}
  • Wonderworld Rainbow Sound Blocks: Tots will love learning to sort and match colours and sounds! Looking through the blocks, single or in a combination, they can explore the world through the prism of a number of different colours, stimulating their curiosity, motor skills and colour differentiation. {6 months+}

Fine Motor Skills & Tactile Exploration

  • Blockaroo 35 Piece Magnetic Foam Blocks – Large – Castle: An addictive clicking sound when blocks are rotated and clicked together, creates a “fidget toy sensation.” We love that the large sized bricks allow kids to build larger structures (unlike magformers); not to mention, the foam-based blocks float and so can be used as bath toys! {18 months upwards}

  • Magnetic Fishing Game: Another great game to begin STEM educational techniques! This one includes 26 wooden fish puzzles which are patterned with alphabet, numbers and cute ocean creatures, making it an invaluable teaching tool to develop hand and eye coordination as well as their motor skills. {2 years +}

  • InnyBin: This innovative shape-sorting box encourages kids to push chunky shape blocks (each with a different texture) through the elastic bands of a cube. The activity is sure to spark their curiosity as they explore, experiment and discover. {10 months+}
toddler toy guide inny bin

  • Rainbow Pebbles: Toddlers will be fascinated by the bright colors, odd shapes and warm feel of these pebbles, which make stacking even more fun. Counting, sorting exercises, fine motor sills and STEM learning are just a few of the side benefits to hours of engaging play with the creative toy from Sensory Play.

Pretend Play

  • Ikea Duktig Mini-Kitchen: Bring out the inner Master Chef in your little ones with Ikea’s uncannily-realistic kitchen set. They can cook, bake and even wash up after themselves using the pretend sink and faucet!
  • Role Play Deluxe Lemonade Stand Playhouse: Encourage entrepreneurial activity by helping your tots set up a lemonade stand complete with everything they need to open up shop, including an erasable sign for displaying a “Daily Special!” This tent is suitable for toddlers of all ages as younger ones can have fun crawling in and out, whilst the elder ones can indulge in role play.
  • Velcro Food In Basket: Brimming with fresh tomatoes, potatoes and other fruits and veggies, this “grab and go” basket is the perfect addition to any toy kitchen set. It comes with safe plastic knives which can cut through the velcro binding the plastic play food, thus helping kids to improve their hand-eye coordination, whilst also introducing basic fraction concepts.

Quiet Time

  • Toddler Chalkboard Book: An erstwhile companion for travelling and keeping your kids busy (yet quiet) on the go! Each page invites a different activity from drawing to colouring, shapes matching to Tic Tac Toe and more! Once finished, simply swipe the page with a duster/ damp cloth so they can go at it again! {Ages:1-2 years, 2-3 years, 3-4 years}

Sensory Play

  • Feet And Feel Mat: A great addition to any nursery, you can stimulate your babies’ and toddlers’ senses by having them feel and play with the different sensory textures of this mat, ranging from soft to fuzzy, smooth to rough, bumpy to scaly!

* This Toy Guide For Toddlers has been curated independently and objectively. Mummylogues/ The Foodie Diaries will not earn any commission for click through purchases from this article. Further, we are delighted to bring you a special reader offer valid until 16 February 2021: enter “MUMMY10” at the time of check-out on Toycra and Pop Up Kids‘ websites for an exclusive 10% off on these selected products.

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