Between the ages of 2 and 3, you will see many changes in your child. Two and a half is an exciting age for children, full of exploration and excitement for the world around them. This is a time when children love to examine their surroundings and develop new ways to communicate with you. There are lots of wonderful toys that will help your child learn to follow rules, interact with others, engage in pretend games and let them discover the world through play.
You might notice that by the age of 2 ½ your child can put words together into sentences. Two-year-olds usually have a vocabulary of 30 to 50 words on average and begin to communicate more effectively with you. Toys and games that encourage your child to learn the alphabet will help expand his vocabulary and recognise items that begin with each letter. "A for apple," "B for boat" are examples of fun and educational exercises that introduce the letters of the alphabet to your child. Two-and-a-half-year-olds love to learn new things, and alphabet toys can be a great way to make learning fun.
Musical Toys & Games
Toys that make music can be very exciting to a 2 ½-year-old. Toys that play music and have lights and colours can be very entertaining. Children of this age love toys that have large colourful buttons to push, each with a different musical sound. Toy xylophones, drums, flutes and keyboards are also wonderful ideas. Children will feel as if they are creating their very own lullaby, which sparks creativity.
Even though 2 ½-year-olds are capable of learning basic rules of play, children of any age know there are no rules when it comes to art. Colouring is often a child's favourite pastime, and art supplies are a wonderful way to let your child explore his or her creative side. Crayons and paper will suffice, but you can also look into chalkboards, dry-erase boards, pencils, modelling clay, washable markers and paints or even sidewalk chalk. Children love the freedom of having a wide open canvas with an art tool in hand.
By the age of 2 ½, children are capable of engaging in pretend play. Toys such as dolls, cookware with play food, toy cameras, building blocks, cars and trucks, stuffed animals and train sets can help children use their imagination to create their own world where they make their own rules. These toys are fun because during pretend play, anything is possible.
By age 2 ½, children are very interested in books. Language and communication skills are getting better every day, so your child will now be interested in the exciting stories and bright colours found in books. You can read a bedtime story every night while your child follows along and helps you turn the page, or you can let your child flip through the pages alone and examine the pictures that tell a story. Books with pop-ups or moving parts or books that make sound are exciting too.
Toys made especially for bath time can make the bathtub a very fun place. There are lots of water safe toys that squirt water or change colours that can make bath time more fun. Try adding a splash of colour to the bath water by using coloured fizzy tablets or scented bubbles. Make sure your child doesn't have an allergic reaction to these products. Even bath mitts and washcloths with cute characters on them can bring an added playfulness to the tub beyond a simple rubber ducky.
Your 2 ½-year-old will love to play outdoors and explore the world around your home. If your child likes water, there are lots of great sprinklers and other water toys that are safe and fun on a hot day. If your child is lucky enough to have a sandbox, a bucket, shovel and rake will bring hours of fun. Your child might also enjoy a small tricycle, wagon or pretend car that can be pushed around the yard. Soft footballs and kick balls can be fun to play with as well.