Does your toddler have a mountain of toys and seems to never play with them? Here is why.
As parents, we all know how challenging it can be to keep our little ones engaged and entertained.
Toys, in particular, are a great way to stimulate a child’s imagination and promote their cognitive and social development.
However, what happens when your toddler refuses to play with their toys?
It can be frustrating and confusing for parents, but there may be underlying reasons why your child doesn’t want to play with their toys.
In this article, we’ll explore six surprising reasons why toddlers may not want to play with their toys and provide some tips on how to encourage them to engage in playtime again.
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Why Toddlers Don’t Want To Play With Their Toys
Toddlers are very focused on gross motor skills
The most obvious reason why toddlers appear to be too preoccupied to sit and play is that they are! They are still too concerned with gross motor abilities. Toddlers (12-24 months) are particularly engaged in gross motor activities and the development of gross motor abilities.
They are continuously interested in pushing the boundaries and exploring what their little bodies are capable of. They are discovering their own balance, speed, climbing ability, strength, whole-body coordination, and so on.
This is also advantageous as kids continue to develop a “body map” for their brain. They are learning how to coordinate their arms and legs. Where their body and limbs come to an end. What they can and cannot fit beneath or within. How difficult it is to push, strike, or put force on EVERYTHING. Toddlers are essentially drawing a map of their bodies and how they function.
It is also critical to recognise how broad motor abilities may help and establish the groundwork for more refined fine motor skills. Children require core strength and what we term “proximal stability” (imagine stronger shoulders) before they can focus on fine motor skills. Allow children time to develop gross motor abilities so that they can be more proficient with fine motor skills when the time comes.
Toddlers Explore The World In their Own Way
Your child may be experimenting with toys in ways that look to you as an adult to be “incorrectly playing.” It’s easy to believe your child isn’t interested in their toys because they’re merely lugging them from one place to another or aren’t playing with them in the manner you think they should be. Children view things differently than adults do, and if they are interacting with their toys in any way, whether you realise it or not, they are exploring and learning.
Remember that you are familiar with the toy due to your years of experience and references with numerous toys and items. You instinctively understand what the toy symbolises, how to play with it, the object’s purpose, the colour, the feel, the weight, how to hold it, its size in relation to other items, and so on. To your child, though, all of this is still in the works. He or she is only now beginning to record these encounters and allusions. So allow them time to do just that, to play with the toys in their own way.
See also: Parenting Tips For Encouraging Rich Play
Toddlers Have A Short Attention Span
Toddlers’ attention spans are short. They simply do. Don’t expect your kid to sit still and pay attention to a scheduled activity.
They may get highly engaged in a new pastime and sit for a longer amount of time at times (5-10 minutes). And the following time they do the same activity, they are only engaged for 1-2 minutes. That’s perfectly typical!
They only needed to spend a bit longer time the first time they used their new item or activity. However, this does not imply that kids are not learning in those 1-2 minutes, nor that they have lost interest in the activity or object. They just don’t have to spend as much time looking into it the next time they take it up.
The Toys May Not Be Age Appropriate
When it comes to how much a youngster appreciates a toy, age-appropriacy is a big aspect. Consider the manufacturer’s advised age range as a guideline (not a rule! ), taking into account your child’s growth and if they’ve already gained the abilities required for a certain toy – or whether they haven’t yet.
Before your next shopping excursion, review our curriculum to discover more about which abilities are acquired at certain ages.
See also: The Best Sticker Books For Toddlers
You’re not engaged enough
Yes, we are our child’s first playmate, but we must also allow them room to study and grow. Our experts recommend letting your child a few minutes to experiment with a toy on their own a few times before leaping in to help — they will learn a lot! Keep the dialogue going and urge your child to describe their thought process without correcting them.
Your child just isn’t interested right now
We sometimes forget that kids are just small humans with their own likes, dislikes, and preferences, therefore it stands to reason that our little ME’s are the same! Continue to introduce new toys every few weeks to observe which ones catch their attention — trust us, they’ll want to play even if it’s not with the toys you intended.
Tips To Help Children Play with Toys
- Turn off the television. Even the TV sound in the background will have an effect. Gather props, such as a tea set or toy kitchen. Teach her how to host a tea party for her stuffed animals.
- Promote reading. A book on tape is an excellent place to begin. They are effectively reading ‘on their own,’ which will eventually lead to their reading on their own.
- Keep in mind that barely a century ago, children were not given as many toys. The fact that their options were limited made it easier for them to make a decision. (I believe they become overwhelmed.)
- Encourage him to go outside and play. Maybe playing inside isn’t his thing. Play outside, swing on the swing set, play tag, and so forth…
- Every day, try “toy quiet time.” We frequently do this in the evenings as we prepare to put our children to bed. They will retire to their rooms and spend around 15 minutes playing with their toys or reading books.
- Experiment with engaging with her more. It is more enjoyable to play with others than it is to play alone.
- Make plans to meet up with pals for playdates. Change residences so she may try out different toys.
- Create a dress-up box. I’ve discovered that even when our children don’t want to play, they like dressing up.
- Try STEM activities to keep your toddler engaged.
- Get up and get moving with Indoor Games To Improve Your Toddler’s Balance or try these ideas on What To Do With A High Energy Toddler.
- Listen to music instead of running the TV or Ipad for background noise.
See also: Genius Toddler Bucket List You Need
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