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Gift Guide: 5 Toys for Your Curious Toddler

Gift Guide: 5 Toys for Your Curious Toddler

Posted by Andrea Elliott on Nov 2nd 2021

Toddlers are like little sponges. These tiny, adorable humans are learning and growing at exponential rates. In fact, the first three years of life influence the quality of brain architecture and establishes the foundation for all of the learning, health, and behavior that follow. Because the brain's adaptability is greatest in the first years of life, children learn more quickly during their early years than at any other time.

Learning Through Play

The most important way young children learn is through play. During play, natural curiosity is what leads them. This is why having quality, age appropriate toys available is so important. Toys that teach don't have to be fancy or make noise. The best toys don't require batteries, talk or tell stories. The most beneficial toys for toddlers are those that leave the learning and exploration up to the child. Some experts refer to these toys as "passive toys" -- toys that stimulate the imagination, encourage creative thinking and develop early problem solving skills. The less a toy does, the more it requires from the child, and the more potential for learning.

5 "Passive Toys" Gift Ideas for Toddlers from HABA

Below are five HABA toys that can be played with, and learned from in many different ways -- totally determined by the child. Whether it is sorting, placement, color recognition, fine motor skills or even early language; our open-ended toys are irresistible to children because of the simplicity and the endless learning possibilities they offer!

My Very First Advent Calendar - This is hands down the most perfect 'chocolate-free' Advent Calendar for curious toddlers! Featuring 24 solid wood pieces. Little ones can open a door each day to discover a new character piece and read a page from the included story booklet. The farm animals are so excited! All of a sudden, a few days before Christmas, lots of beautifully wrapped gifts appear. Maybe Santa accidentally lost them? Theo the raven is determined to find out. The animals also need Theo’s help with all the preparations that need to be done before Christmas. So the little raven has plenty to do – the children learn what he needs to do every day when they open a calendar door. Lovingly designed play material lets them actively experience and recreate the story. Makes the time leading up to Christmas pass quickly!

Doorway Puppet Theater -  Bringing stuffed animals, dolls, and puppets to "life," role playing or mimicking adult behavior - is a vital part of childhood. Children are natural pretenders with boundless imaginations and pretend play provides a release for their creativity! And with our easy to hang and take down Doorway Puppet Theater, your family will take their story telling game to the next level. We're talkin' Broadway level, here! This whimsical playroom addition can adjust to fit in virtually any sized door frame. The theater is wonderfully detailed with a cute porthole at the top for a puppet to make a surprise appearance or introduce the next act, a vibrant red curtain that comes with tie backs to unveil the show, and a little pocket window to display the name of the act! Re-enact fairy tales, make up your own stories, tell knock knock jokes to make each other laugh! The key here is communication. Puppet play encourages conversation, helps build vocabulary and improves social skills that are particularly important once your child goes off to school. And with over 15 adorable HABA puppet characters to choose from, there is no limit to what you and your child can come up with.

Kullerbu Kringel Domino Play Track - Babies, toddlers, preschoolers on up to adults are LOVING our Kullerbü car & ball tracks! Encourage STEM learning early with this infinitely expandable and adaptable building set that grows right along WITH your child. Kullerbü utilizes both wood and plastic to create exciting elements, dramatic case and effect elements and lots of other fun surprises that keep kids coming back to see what else they can create. The Kringel Domino Starter Set fuses ball track fun with dominos, which makes for infinite, thrilling and fun design combinations! With the Kullerbü building system, the play possibilities are endless! 

My Very First Games - Nibble, Munch, Crunch - All games in the My Very First Games series are designed to help toddlers develop and work on a variety of skills! Nibble, Munch, Crunch features three suggested variants including cooperative matching: “What Do Animals Eat?”, memory: “Who Eats What?” and free-play. The adorable artwork and quality components help make learning important skills like fine motor, concentration, language, sorting and spatial awareness fun and engaging!

Rainbow Whirls Pegging Game - This colorful wooden arranging toy will encourage creativity while fostering fine motor skills and shape and color recognition. Find the matching colors or make your own design. Make it all on one level, or stack the pegs and use the stacked rings to keep it steady. How high can you build? There's no right or wrong way to play with this, making this set ideal for free-play. Children will have fun assigning colors and making many creative stacking variations! Plus it looks absolutely gorgeous on the toy shelf or coffee table!