Toys to imitate, create and discover
A 3-5 year old child is very interested in imaginative and imitative play. They observe the adults around them and enjoy pretending. This is the age of disguises and role-playing (playing mummy and daddy, the fireman, the cook, etc.). They also enjoy making up little stories with dolls, cuddly toys, figurines, puppets, little cars, houses, castles, pirate ships, etc.
At this age, a toddler also enjoys doing crafts and drawing. They like to see the concrete results of what they invent and enjoy sharing their ideas with their parents. It is a good idea to provide them with craft materials (e.g. scissors, pencils, bits of wool, glue, newspaper, cardboard, paint, brushes) and to let them create instead of offering them a model to copy.
A child of this age likes to do puzzles, construction games and train tracks. They are also interested in discovery games. For example, they can play with a magnifying glass, binoculars and tongs to manipulate small objects.
Playing with others
His language is improving and his vocabulary is growing. A toddler of this age is also getting better at saying what he wants and is more cooperative and collaborative. Other children are now good play partners.
At this age, they understand the rules of the game better, such as waiting their turn. This is a good time to offer simple board games (e.g. tic-tac-toe, checkers, memory games, etc.). Board games promote the development of many skills such as attention span, memory, logic, problem solving, and even fine motor skills.
Games for movement
Motor skills are becoming more and more efficient: he coordinates his movements well and develops his strength to push, throw and pull. This allows a toddler of this age to engage in a wide variety of games and physical activities (playing with balls, riding a tricycle, riding a bike without pedals (draisienne) or a bicycle, running, sliding, swinging, etc.). He moves the most when he goes outside to play. Outside, they also find different elements of nature to play with (e.g. branches, rocks, trees, sand, pinecones, etc.).
Obstacle courses are still interesting for a child aged 3 to 5. You just need to adapt the level of difficulty to the child’s abilities. They can now walk on a rope on the floor or a small beam, jump from a child’s chair, jump through hoops, etc.
Is the age on the toys right?
The suggested age on the packaging is a good indication of whether a toy is suitable for a toddler. It is best to avoid the temptation to buy toys that are too complex for your child’s age.
By offering your child the opportunity to play age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate games, you allow them to do activities that are challenging and enjoyable.
On the contrary, if your child finds a game too difficult to understand or perform, he or she will lose interest in the toy, even later, when he or she is old enough to use it.