Top Picks For 2 Year-Olds
Toys and Games
  • books, books, and more books - any subject, any interest area
  • manipulatives such as nesting cups, stacker toys, blocks, and shape sorters teach about refining space and graded control
  • stuffies such as the Bluebee Pal for self-regulation and to practice social skills
  • musical instruments - rattles, shakers, and bells also teach about space and where a child is in space
  • listening and moving to music
  • art materials, food, and other forms of messy play to desensitize face, hands, and feet as well as begin to explore near and far space. Sensory bins made of a variety of textures with toys to grab, play with, and examine are fabulous mini-playgrounds. We've used water, dirt, snow, and even Jell-O in a bin along with mini tools that coincide with the media or topic
  • any object that can be safely handled from daily routines - washcloths, spoons, pots, and pans, etc.
  • games such as "Peek-a-boo" or "Where's Daddy?"
  • toys that have a simple cause and effect play scheme - try to avoid toys with looped music or predictable outcomes after skills have been mastered...as children learn fast and become bored easily and it's annoying. Kids will always let you know if they wish to repeat play
  • cushions and pillows that are thrown about on the floor, swings, tunnels, etc to climb over or hide in for a sensory break or to test out newly found physical skills
Apps

Technology dazzles and entertains us, but is best used if it serves as a bridge to practical life and learning skills. While you wouldn't eat candy all day, technology shouldn't be in constant use. When used appropriately, technology is a phenomenal tool, and kids at this age need to learn basic tablet or computer use skills. Treating devices with respect, visually targeting, and sustaining attention as well as point with intention, swipe, and drag in order to navigate an app or a mouse are all early learning skills. The important part of learning at this age is the social interaction and modeling by a parent, older sibling or significant other in that child's life. Modeling demonstrates the sequences for appropriate behaviors and steps to an activity.

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