With a background in child development, I've always been interested in developmental toys that aid in productive play.
A few months ago, I was feeling as though our small townhome was slowly being overcome with loud and flashy contraptions that both annoyed me and didn't hold my child's interest for very long. I became engulfed in all the research about how many toys kids need and what toys are beneficial. Truthfully, children don't necessarily need toys. I'm sure most parents can attest to the fact that their kids are often more content with leftover Amazon boxes or pots and pans from the kitchen, as long as they are entertained and learning.
But toys can be great educational tools. Since feeling overwhelmed with the toys collecting in our home, I've tried to be really selective and intentional about what toys I bring into it. I follow the rule that a toy should be open-ended, meaning they can be played with in more that just one way.
One toy I love is Tobbles from Fat Brain Toys. Each piece is weighted differently for your child to explore physics with stacking, rolling, balancing and more! Perfect for developing skills like fine-motor, coordination and sensory exploration.
I love toys that engage the imagination and pretend play toys offer so much to children developmentally. Currently, my daughter is intrigued by all things doctor. This Doctor Set from PlanToys has been on my "to buy" list for awhile. I adore the simplistic design, and the fact that it is wooden makes it an even better buy in my book. I know that this set will be very well loved for years to come.
Art is another area that can keep my daughter occupied for good chunks of time, so I always try to have a large roll of paper and various drawing supplies handy. For on the go, I love the Jaq Jaq Bird Chalk Books. Don't be intimidated by the word "chalk"! The ButterStix chalk is dust free so there's no messy chalk residue. It's ideal for the car, restaurants, and even drawing at home!
There's really no set number of how many toys your child needs. The general consensus is that fewer toys may help your children focus better and play more creatively. When it comes to toys, quality trumps quantity.