Children's Health and Wellness

Toddler Play

What can I do to help promote play in my child?

While all children are different and may enjoy different toys and interactions, the following are suggestions for activities and toys for the toddler:

  • Toddler:

    • Needs space in which to play and explore

    • Likes sandboxes, swings, and playgrounds

    • Likes to imitate others by pretending to perform adult tasks

    • Likes to play in the water

  • What you can do as a parent:

    • Allow your child to help with chores

    • Read to your child

    • Regulate your child's television watching (The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no television before the age 2 and then no more than 1 to 2 hours per day after age 2.)

    • Provide your child with a toy vacuum, pots and pans, and other housekeeping or work toys

Toys for the toddler

  • Toys that can be pushed and pulled

  • Rocking horse

  • Toys that can be ridden safely

  • Balls

  • Playground equipment

  • Shovel and bucket

  • Music

  • Toys that can help with housework, such as brooms, a vacuum, and dishes

  • Dolls

  • Puzzles

Online Source: American Academy of Pediatrics. Media and Childrenhttp://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/pages/media-and-children.aspx
Online Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Toddlers (2 to 3 years of age)http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/positiveparenting/toddlers2.html
Online Source: American Academy of Pediatrics. Playing is How Toddlers Learnhttp://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/fitness/Pages/Playing-is-How-Toddlers-Learn.aspx
Online Source: American Academy of Pediatrics. Developmental Milestones: 2 Year Oldshttp://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/pages/Developmental-Milestones-2-Year-Olds.aspx
Online Source: American Academy of Pediatrics. Babies and Toddlers Should Learn from Play, Not Screenshttp://www.healthychildren.org/English/news/Pages/Babies-and-Toddlers-Should-Learn-from-Play-Not-Screens.aspx
Online Source: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families. Tips for Choosing Toys for Toddlershttp://www.zerotothree.org/child-development/play/tips-for-choosing-toys-for.html
Online Medical Reviewer: Finke, Amy, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed: 4/29/2014
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