What you need to know Read less, play more
Between the ages of 12–18 months and 3 years old children are leaving behind babyhood and are at the key stage of being a toddler. They are moving around for themselves and becoming more confident on their feet. Their speech is developing quickly and they are learning how to do things for themselves – much of the time through play and repetition. With so much that is new, every day is different and an adventure.
The joy of toddler play!
Day-to-day activities like going out in the car, on the bus, or shopping are exciting and can be a source of inspiration for play. Children at this age love to try new things as well as develop trusty favourites. Often it is the simpler and most flexible toys that they get the most fun from day after day.
There is a huge range of toys and games for children of this age so here are a few suggestions of our favourite types.
Toddlers love vehicles! Whether it is a car like yours, tractors, diggers, fire-engines or buses they are all very popular. If they make noise and have lights it makes them even more popular (but not necessarily with grown-ups!!)
Wow Toys make a great range of chunky vehicles including construction, emergency and even safari. They are brightly coloured, well-made and do not require batteries.
For those who are fascinated by trains this is the time for a first railway set such from Brio or Bigjigs. Chunky wooden track sections are fitted together for colourful engines and their trucks to travel along. These can be added to over time to make some of the most popular and enduring toys for generations to come.
Toddlers love construction whether it’s building towers, making houses or just sticking bricks together. Construction toys like LEGO DUPLO or Mega Bloks make a great gift for a toddler. Products range from a bucket of bricks to sets including farms, diggers or the supermarket for even more creativity.
Toddlers love to copy what they see going on around them. They learn a lot through play and love to role-play shopping, use a pretend kitchen where they may make you a cup of tea, or use a play workbench – especially if it has tools that make sounds!
Toddlers also love having a pushchair like their own for taking treasured teddies for a walk or just piling high with all their favourite toys!
Toddlers love the chance to play with ride-on vehicles. The best ones at this stage are powered by the child, and allow them to develop skills for moving around and control. There is a wide range to choose from including Little Tikes Cosy Coupe.
Toddlers love to play outside whatever the weather and really enjoy playing in the sand box or with a water table, paddling pool or climbing set. They also love slides, swings and tunnels they can crawl through.
Children aged between 18 months and 3 years also love puzzles. Whether it’s sorting shapes, fitting together 2 – 3 pieces to make animals or working on a floor-puzzle of up to 35 pieces they really enjoy it, often wanting to make the same puzzle time after time.
Musical play is very important to young children - it might sound like noise to you, yet it's developing a sense of harmony and sound that will endure for the rest of their lives. Musical toys and activity centres allow children to explore sound, enjoy music and who knows, maybe develop an ear for a tune!