First of all I want to say that I am in no way a professional. I didn’t study child development or anything like that. Honestly before becoming a mom I never gave any thought into what toys I was buying. The truth is that toys do and can help grow your child’s brain. There are so many different toy brands out there with so many different opinions On what toy is the best. Buying toys can become a little overwhelming. One of the biggest toy debate is “wooden vs plastic”. While I do see the advantages of wooden toys–less toxic, we’ve found a mix of both work. We love Melissa and Doug puzzles and play food. However as time went on most of James’ toys were turning out to be plastic Fisher-price Little People.
Early on James’’ toy collection consisted of squishy rattles, soft books and whatever toy lit up or made music. However once James hit a certain age I started seeing a trend in what toys were his favorites. Around 9 months I also noticed a huge leap in his development. He started recognizing more animals and their sounds. He also started signing more. This is about the time when I really started to think about the toys we were playing with and how I could start teaching with them. Of course the first toys we started with were the ring tower and sorting shapes. Not only were those great at helping develop his fine motor skills and hand eye coordination they made it really easy to teach him shapes and colors.
For james first birthday he was gifted his first Little People toy, the Little People Ride with Me School Bus. He was instantly hooked. The school bus lights up and makes noises catching his attention. The Little People shape is perfect for his little hands. It so cute watching him place the people in order on the bus. I cannot recommend these toys enough. Ive watch his imagination grow so much since he first started “playing people” (as james calls it).
His two favorites are the school bus and farm house. Each Little People toy has a theme to it, the school bus being centered around kindness and helping others. While the farmhouse teaches children how to take care of different animals. James will take turns feeding the different animals and tucking them in with a blanket. What I love about the is that I can build on top of the skills we already learned because they are basic shapes and colors. For example, the bus becomes the YELLOW school bus. The RED farm. The horse eats RED apples. Any toy can be a learning toy as long as you use it in the right way. Using basic toys to lay the foundation of basic skills is a great place to start
Another reason I love the fisher-price toys are the community it creates. It helps James see the world in a more connected way. I also have to give credit to the fact that fisher-price is a toy company that has been around for ages. I love the thought that james has the same ring stack game, or push popper. While little people have taken over our house, i’m not mad at it.