creative toys

5 Types of Toys Experts Say Will Develop Your Child’s Creativity

You’re on a road trip with your 1-year-old. To make sure he’s entertained during the whole trip, you pack his favorite toys or even new ones in Tupperware-like containers with lids that snap.And guess what? Your toddler ends up playing with the container, fascinated by the lid’s closing and opening.

Play is how children learn, and toys are meant to be tools for this purpose. They shouldn’t dictate how a child should play.But our fondness for anything multifunctional makes us focus on what the toys can do—it should have letters, numbers, lights, sounds, and hey, it can even sway its head.

But what we should consider every time we shop, according to the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), is what the child can do with the toys.

Below you will find the following questions I ask myself when I buy for my kids:

1. Can it be used as a tool to further develop curiosity, creativity or imagination?

2. Can it be used as a tool to initiate interaction?

3. Would it be helpful to facilitate learning eventually?And the toys need not be expensive! Children can derive a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction with simple toys.

In my experience, I find that the following toys serve the purpose of play well:

Open-ended toys
These develop their imagination and problem solving skills with simple blocks, fitting and sorting toys, and jigsaw puzzles. These encourage hours of construction play by themselves or with others. TRY:

wood blocks

Melissa & Doug 100-Piece Wood Blocks Set


Color and music
Use art and crafts materials and musical toys to encourage creativity and hone artistic skills. It is a great opportunity where they can express themselves and show off their individuality. For toddlers, a spoon and a plastic food container can easily be the drum set. TRY:

music box

Melissa & Doug Band in a Box

“Found” objects
Let their imagination run wild with sticks as swords or cardboard boxes as fortress. I personally prefers toys / materials that are naturally made like water, sand, stone, and leaves that can be used in pretend play.

kids playing with water

Board games

It helps improve his problem solving skills but more importantly, it requires him to take turns with other kids. This social interaction teaches him about friendship and communication and develops his negotiation skills. TRY:

board games

Educational Insights The Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game

Play kitchen or building brick toys
Both allow kids to do role-playing, make up their own worlds, and exercise their imagination. They can literally take it apart and reassemble to something different. It also develops their fine and gross motor skills as well. TRY:


KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen

When it comes to electronic gadgets, I am wary about using it in children’s play. If parents choose to have electronic toys in the home, I normally recommend that parents should set ground rules about the use of these gadgets right from the outset.

Parents should strictly implement these ground rules. Remember that the use of these gadgets is a privilege given to the children, not an obligation.”

And don’t forget the most crucial thing. Regardless of the type of toys you decide for your child, it is equally important to find the time for YOU to be involved and play with your children. Even 10 to 15 minutes a day makes a huge difference.