14-Month-Old Toddler Development: Toys
Your toddler is all about experimentation these days. He's learning cause and effect and likes to witness the immediate consequences of his actions. "Aha! So that's what happens when I pour an entire bowl of cereal on the floor!" He's also becoming more coordinated and is ready to stack, push, climb and pull. Make way for the toy-avalanche! What you're thinking: "This place is starting to look like Santa's workshop! (Now where are the elves to help me clean up?)"
- Toddlers learn through play, so set your little Einstein up with some cool (and, OK, if we must, "developmental") toddler toys and let him have at it!
- Push and pull toys are a toddler's dream. Now that your kid can get up and go, he'll want something to push and pull and smash into your walls! Hey, at least you'll have an excuse to put off painting the living room.
- Big blocks for stacking (and better yet, knock down) will give your kid a great fine-motor-skill workout. Nesting cups and containers are great for developing Junior's budding problem-solving skills. And don't feel like you have to buy them! You can make nesting cups out of yogurt containers or giant dominoes out of cereal boxes.
- An activity table with lots of touching, flipping, moving parts is great for a toddler's fine-motor-skill development and might keep him occupied for longer than it takes you to make lunch or brush your teeth. Look for one with sturdy legs and bright colors.
- Making music (a.k.a. "noise") is also great fun, educational and, best of all (at least from your kid's viewpoint), LOUD! Unless you've got restaurant-quality equipment in your kitchen, you can skip buying a "band in a box" and let your kid rock out with the pots and pans band in your kitchen. Or pick up a simple xylophone and test your own "Mary Had a Little Lamb" skillz (when you can wrestle the mallets away from your kid, that is).
- Your toddler's increasing independence and attention span mean you'll be enjoying longer stretches of time when you're not entertaining her. You might feel guilty about that at first,but it's a natural developmental process, so squash the guilt and make the most of it! You'll be surprised how much you can indulge yourself with just a few minutes of guilt-free alone time.
- "I'm really not into electronic toys. I think they take away the magic in ordinary objects. (Plus, they're loud and annoying.)"
Read more of "Batteries Not Included ... or Needed" by actress Kellie Martin
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All kids grow and develop at different rates. So please don't compare your toddler with so-and-so's from across the street—you'll just drive yourself nuts. If you have any concerns, bring them up with your pediatrician at your kid's next checkup.