It is officially spring season in the United States and the weather couldn’t be more perfect! With spring comes the anticipated spring cleaning. As you clean your house this spring, don’t forget to check your toddler’s toys. Does your toddler have so many toys that it has become a distraction? If so, what toys should you think about donating or throwing out? Here are some suggestions:
• Get rid of toys that are not age appropriate. These toys may be too basic or too complex for your child.
• Donate toys that your toddler may have outgrown. Pack rattles and baby toys because your child is probably no longer interested in them.
• Throw away toys that are frayed, worn, missing parts, and no longer working. There is no point in keeping these toys.
• Give toys that your child does not like to play with because these toys do not attract his attention. Another child can enjoy them.
Once you’ve decided which toys to keep, think about which toys can help increase speech and language development. Remember that young children benefit most when they are exposed to sounds and words at an early age. Some of the grasping toys include toys that are motivational, toys that encourage pretend play, toys that require imagination, toys that develop fine and gross motor skills, as well as cause and effect toys. Some of these types of toys include blocks, bubbles, books, flashcards, puzzles, costumes, dolls, and kitchen items to play with. Keep in mind that the best toys that promote speech and language skills are the ones with the fewest bells and whistles.
Once you’ve examined your toddler’s toys, you can begin to organize them to reduce clutter and distraction. One way to do this is by using plastic containers of various sizes found at big discount stores. Place multi-piece toys in zip-lock bags and place all of these toys in a plastic container. Put all of your toddler’s puzzles together in another box. Place the costumes and costume items in another tub. Once all the toys have been organized in their appropriate containers, write the names of each type of toy on an index card or a piece of paper to tape on the outside of the box so you can help your child. child to locate them. You can also put pictures of the toys on the outside of the container so your toddler can find them for himself. You will be more organized and your child will enjoy playing with toys that stimulate speech, language, and developmental skills. Happy spring cleaning!