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With our houses and kids’ rooms already bursting at the seams with toys, it might feel overwhelming to even THINK of adding more STUFF to your already toy-packed household.
However, not all toys have to feel junky or over-stimulating! Toys are actually amazing tools to help foster creativity, imagination, and engaging play for our children!
Here are a few toy ideas that stand out among the rest to add to your shopping list for any birthday or holiday gift. These toys have proven time and time again to be worth it for imaginative play!
I heard somewhere, “When it comes to Magnatiles, more is more.” Magnatiles are magnetic shapes that connect together magnetically in order to build structures, houses, towers, tunnels, bridges, traps, or whatever else those little minds come up with! Magnatiles are amazing for imaginative play with children and offer opportunities for children to be creative, explore their engineering side, take risks, test limits, and quite simply- PLAY! Adults often enjoy Magnatiles too, making them an excellent option for shared family playtime! Also, since “more is more,” they make great Christmas presents to add to a child’s growing Magnatile collection.
There is something about a toddler being able to hold a small toy in the palm of their hand that really allows them to focus and immerse themselves in imaginative play. With virtually no other set-up beyond small toy figures, my child will play for hours making the figures walk, talk, go to school, go shopping, fly, tend to a baby, sail in a boat, rescue a cat, climb up structures, avoid lava, get in trouble with their parents, and other real-life and make-believe scenarios! The figures could allow children to “practice” how a real-life situation could go, or rather create a fantasy scenario! Choose characters that your child already loves, such as Paw Patrol figures, small princesses, Peppa Pig figures, superheroes, etc.!
Just a few play food and kitchen items can open up a world of imaginative play for your child! Children can play restaurant, coffee shop, home chef, and more! You do not even necessarily need a play kitchen for your child to have engaging playtime with food and kitchen items!
Our play food, teacups, plates, utensils, blender, and platters get plenty of use from my children casually playing on the living room floor, outside in the sandbox, or in the bathtub. Incorporating sand and water with play food and kitchen items adds a sensory play element (remember making mud pies and leaf soup in your backyard as a kid?!)