sand and water toys
Sand and water are simple, natural materials for your toddler to build with and explore. Play together with your toddler to show them how to make sand castles and shapes, and help them destroy them with plastic spades and other tiny tools. Remember to always stay with your baby when they are playing in or near water, even if it's just in a shallow bath.
Your little one is currently absorbing information like a sponge, and there are so many games and activities available to help them learn and grow. Activity cubes, tables and centres combine colours and noises to create sorting and matching games to get your baby's cogs turning. Pop-up games also help to develop their understanding of cause and effect, and provide hours of easy fun!
arts and crafts
By the time they reach two, your child may be able to hold a pencil and begin to make marks – in this way creating their first masterpieces. Little hands can start grasping crayons and paint brushes, and can even start moulding small sculptures out of play dough – just make sure you lay down some protective newspaper first!
interactive and electronic toys
Any toys with lights, sounds and pop-up moving parts will be an instant hit with your toddler, and can also help improve their knowledge of colours, animals, numbers and letters. Now that computers and keyboards are so common in our daily lives, it also won't hurt to get them used to a bit of modern technology (without them handling your more expensive gadgets!).
As well as the bright and illustrated classic story and picture books, your baby will love any novelty tales that also come with fun squeakers or pop-up pages. Some books are especially designed for babies to 'read' and play with, with durable fabrics and even bath time options.
- keep your baby's toys clean, as they have a tendency to be chewed and sucked
- always check plastic toys for sharp or roughened edge and make sure they are safe, non-toxic and durable
- always stay with your little one when they are playing 'banging' games or using hammers
- keep fabric toys away from fire or other heat sources
- remove hanging mobiles and activity centres from the cot as soon as your baby can sit up onto hands and knees
- make sure that the batteries of any toys are secured before use
- always look to make sure toys conform to British Standard BS EN7