By the time a child reaches the preschool age, he starts to use objects according to their intended purpose — a pencil is a tool you use to write. But he can imagine the pencil as a toy: it's a sword, a conductor's baton or a laser!
Pretend-play becomes much more extravagant during the preschool stage. For instance, your preschooler may start hanging out with his imaginary friends or pretend that he is someone else (like his favorite superhero). This type of play is important because it is one way for kids to deal with their fears, anxieties, and dreams.
What are the best toys for preschoolers?
The best toys for preschoolers can help develop their motor and socio-emotional skills from ride-on vehicles to dress-up outfits and storytelling equipment. Board games are also a great option since it allows kids to learn about cooperative play and how to win (and lose) gracefully.
Playing with blocks are not just for babies. Blocks that are meant for toddlers and preschoolers help encourage skills in problem-solving and hand-eye coordination. They also allow your little one to use his imagination in building different structures, whether that’s a house, a small village, or even animals.
Puzzles help develop coordination and dexterity. It helps your child understand spatial relationships and think more logically. As your child ages, you can also start letting him play with puzzles that have smaller pieces.
Dress-up outfits and accessories
Encourage your child to have fun with pretend play by letting him put on different costumes. Start by allowing him to wear what he wants to be, say, when he grows up. You don’t even have to spend too much. If he wants to become a chef, give him an apron and an improvised hat, and let him help you prepare a meal or your merienda!
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Tot-sized chairs and tables are simple tools that can give way to elaborate pretend-play. He can imagine that he has his own tiny house, a personal office, or a kiddie restaurant and he is hanging out with his other mini-sized friends (a.k.a, his action figures and stuffed toys).
Your child’s drawings are becoming a bit more detailed, and he might even add his own signature to his works! He will definitely enjoy making colorful artworks using markers and crayons, collages using different colored papers and glue, or sculptures using modeling clay. Children’s attention spans become longer when they reach the preschooler stage, so art activities are an excellent way to keep them occupied.
Books and storytelling materials
A preschooler will continue to enjoy picture books with more detailed text and illustrations. Storytelling materials like puppets can also be fun for kids this age since it not only allows them to be creative and imaginative, but it also provides an opportunity to play with others.
Playsets, like toy kitchens and cash registers, are a favorite among kids who love to pretend like they’re chefs or cashiers. Prepare to be your child’s playmate when he gets into the groove of these fun toys!
Kids can use these toys to engage in imaginative play. From Barbie dolls to toy babies to superhero action figures to even stuffed animals, these are a classic for all growing tots!
Basic board games
Board games can help kids learn how to play according to the rules and how to take turns with others. However, as Marianne Szymanski, founder and president of Toy Tips, Inc., and co-author of Toy Tips: A Parent’s Essential Guide to Smart Toy Chances, tellsParents, “Don’t introduce anything too strategic yet.”
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Four to 5-year-olds might enjoy charades, while Monopoly might be a bit too complex for them to understand.
Basic musical instruments
Playing with musical instruments is another fun way to let your child express himself! Some types of instruments you can give him are xylophones, tambourines, or age-appropriate drums. Get ready for a lot of home concerts and performances!