Nate is almost three. THREE. It seems as though I just got used to thinking of him as a two-year-old, and already three is creeping up on us. (If the photo above isn’t representative of life with an almost three-year-old boy, I don’t know what one would!)
Nate is such a busy boy, and he definitely has his preferences when it comes to what it is he likes to play with. He still loves cars, trucks, and especially his old favourite, the garbage truck. He is fond also of tractors, trains, airplanes…well, you get the idea. If it has wheels, wings or treads, he’s interested.
Sometimes I wonder if I should be making a concerted effort to broaden Nate’s interests into other areas, and I also wonder if the right thing to do is to continue to expose him to the things he is naturally interested in without pushing him in other directions. I tend to lean toward the second of these two options, and then on the occasions when he demonstrates interest in a new kind of activity, I make sure to encourage him to explore there, too.
We are not a family who shops for toys on a regular basis. We take the toys that Nate plays with and rotate them in and out of storage. After all, everything old is new again! However, his birthday and Christmas are right around the corner, so we’ll be picking out some new things for him in the near future.
One of the factors we’ll consider in buying new toys for Nate is not only the price, but the longevity we will get out of the toys. We tend to get things for Nate that are a little bit more on the advanced side because we want him to be interested in playing with his things for longer than a few months. He is also extremely mechanical, and loves to do things with his hands like build and stack and “fix” things, so we will be looking for toys that fit those particular skills.
I would love it if Nate would be more interested in things like art and music, and I hope that they will hold his interest more as he grows up, but for now he is content to colour with magic markers and put stickers on the pages of his colouring books.
As parents of just one child, it’s sometimes hard to know if our son’s skill and interest levels lie within the average range of other kids his age. We feel like he is ahead of the curve with some things, and behind with others. To help us figure out some toys and activities that would be appropriate for him, we recently checked out the Fisher-Price Joy of Learning Playtime Guide for some ideas about not only what toys Nate might like, but what kinds of activities we could do with him at home. For example, the guide provides a helpful list of games for a child aged two and a half to three years old, including “Copycat,” “Picture Pairs” and “Sticker Search”, to name a few.
The guide tells me that Nate can learn:
- Imagination & Creativity (he is showing signs of a great little imagination, play-acting with his Little People and collection of garbage trucks),
- Sharing & Co-operation (I’m sure there’s a big emphasis placed on these skills at daycare),
- Self-expression & Confidence (his ability to yell “Stop it!” at me at nap time means he’s doing well in this area), and
- Thinking & Problem-solving.
The other thing I like about this guide is that I can look ahead at the stages that are coming up and see just what we’re in for! It will continue to be a great resource as Nate grows into an even bigger boy.
How do you choose toys and games for your child?
Disclosure: I am a Fisher-Price Mom and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.