Now that the kids are starting to play inside more, I can finally write about one of my favourite subjects: toys, toys, toys. Whether its cars, books, memory cards or Legos, the choices and brands are vast. Even before Luca was born I started looking for the right toys for him. Of course I wanted them to be cute and fun, but I was think about the educational aspect as well. – What better way can a child learn then while he’s actually having fun!?
Buying toys was a bit of trial and error for me, I have to admit… I did get carried away and ordered so many bulks of shiny, colourful and loud toys that my husband said he needed to add another room to the house. But I quickly realized that quality is not quantity: Luca went straight for the toys that had educational worth, and just ignored the rest. I think most of the time children will play with toys that stimulate their development, we just need to figure out which ones support their growth the best!
Luca and his fellow toddler friends all love anything that represents the real world and lets them mimic what their parents are doing. While his girl-friends tend to choose doll houses, Luca and his boy-friends head straight for the mini garages and train tracks. Any kind of music instrument gets a lot of attention (though I do have the suspicion that the louder they are, the more interesting) and all of the toddlers and small children I know love CD’s with children songs for sing-alongs. Soon we will try some painting and who knows – maybe a few music lessons.
Playing memory with your child most definitely will help develop their brain, and toys such as Lego, Playmobil and dolls enhance fantasy and role-playing. Luca loves anything about animals and will go through picture books for hours on end. We make animal sounds together and he makes me repeat each animal’s story until I could tell them in my sleep. Yes, the cow goes “Moo” and yes, it lives on a farm… And then comes the magical moment when you pass a field with grazing cows and your child goes “Moo?”. That’s when you know you’re heading in the right direction! Of course any kind of book fascinates Luca, may it be about fruits and vegetables, colours or cars. I love to see how he sucks in information and I do my best to feed his curiosity.
If you follow my blog you already know that Luca is a little-bitty merman, so a big part of his toys are water toys, suitable for the bathtub, not just the pool. Bubble bath foam, a rubber ducky and a toy boat can keep him busy for hours, not to mention, squeaky clean.
And after all is said (“moo”) and done (build, smash, drive, crash), just before he goes to bed, all the cuddly comfort toys get to say goodnight during my favourite time of the day with Luca. We have a bear twice as tall as Luca (By the amazing German stuffed animal company ‘Steif’.), so Luca, the bear and the bear’s smaller cousins from the animal Kingdome gather together in my arms for a bit of storytelling while I take advantage of the fact that Luca is too sleepy to run away from my cuddle-attack
. If you liked what you just read, you might be curious to know where I go shopping for Luca’s toys, so here are a few links from my favourite stores. Have a fun play day!