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NAN: Toys and Materials for Older Toddlers

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As toddlers begin to tackle more advanced activities, their environment should support it. Things to button, snap and buckle, lacing cards, play dough, dolls and doll clothes, simple puzzles, and play tools with nuts and bolts will foster the continued development of fine motor skills.

Water tables and sand boxes, sensory tables, scented play dough and other sensory activities will not only support motor skill development but will provide ways for toddlers to learn about and experience their world. For example, at a sensory table, a toddler may explore a variety of different textures and discover that some things, like paper, can be ripped easily while other things, like fabric, cannot. It is important for nannies to remember that toddlers learn basic principles through hands-on play.

Providing toddlers with items for pretend play, like kitchen sets, brooms, vacuums and doll carriages will encourage the development of more complex pretend play.

Toddlers also need the opportunity to continue to develop their large motor skills. Climbing on low structures, crawling under and over items set up in a makeshift obstacle course and throwing, catching, and kicking balls will all help to foster large motor skill development.

Michelle LaRoweNAN: Toys and Materials for Older Toddlers