2 to 3 Years
Your child’s play is now more purposeful, and she has the fine motor skills needed to complete a puzzle or build with blocks by herself. She’ll start to enjoy pretend play that imitates the actions of people around her. She’ll like high-tech toys that make real-life sounds, such as telephones that ring or dolls that talk. No matter how politically correct you are, your child will probably play in a gender-stereotypical way—at least some of the time, Dr. Newcombe says. A boy may use his dump truck to scoop up sand, while a girl might pretend to feed her doll and put it down for a nap. Boys and girls are both very active at this age and will still enjoy their push- and pull-toys. You can also introduce a ride-on toy: Start with one that your child can propel with both feet, and move up to a tricycle.
- Dolls and stuffed animals
- Props for make-believe play, such as a toy telephone, a tea-party set, a toy kitchen, or a doll stroller
- Ride-on toys and tricycles
- Musical instruments (especially popular are those with flashing lights on the keys that your child needs to press in order to play a tune)
- Large transportation toys with buttons to make a horn honk or a siren whistle
- Construction toys that snap together