Play is an essential activity in the life of every child, because it is both a mental and physical pursuit. During the course of normal playtime routines, they learn valuable life skills and achieve developmental milestones. Social behaviors such as sharing and cooperation are developed during fun activities with toys or games. In addition, play is essential for brain and body development. Spatial coordination, awareness of orientation within the physical world, fine motor skills, and hand-eye coordination are all developed through play. Even older children have need of play for continued intellectual and physical health. Here are the ten best selling toys of 2016-2017.
1. Scientific Explorer
This First Mind Blowing Science Kit offers kids the chance to explore the principals of the realms of physical science, based on STEM concepts such as engineering and chemistry, the use of fulcrums, and other exciting tactile experiments. Suitable for children six years of age and older, the 20-piece kit includes open-ended toys that can be recombined in a wide variety of ways to encourage exploration and experimentation. Kid-safe chemicals such as red cabbage powder and baking soda are included with a number of lab implements.
2. LEGO City Fire Truck
Hours of fun await any child who enjoys playing with these building blocks and figures. The main attraction is a fire truck with an extending ladder, fire hose, and oil barrel. Also included are accessories, such as a fire extinguisher, circular saw, axe, and shovel. The hose can be functionally operated using the included water studs to simulate action. The truck is compact enough to be stored when not in use, measuring just 3 inches high, 7 inches long, and 1 inch wide.
3. Super Hero Costume Kit
While Halloween is the traditional time for special costumes, kids can stretch their imaginations and engage in beneficial physical play with this kit. It includes four capes and masks, ideal for group play or offering variety to solo games. Ironman, Spiderman, Superman, and Batman costume gear comes neatly packaged and easy to store once playtime is done. The kit also comes with three sheets of stickers and one of temporary tattoos, making this a great party game idea.
4. Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker
V-Tech offers this fun and interactive walker for those with young children mastering their motor skills. A built-in five-key piano plays notes to encourage musicality, two spinning rollers, three shape sorters, and three light-up buttons engage young children in development of motor skills. A play phone and other mechanical skill-enhancing elements engage children in beneficial imagination-play. More than 70 sing-along songs and sound effects engage verbal developing verbal skills.
5. Playfully Delicious
This wooden coffee maker play set from Hape encourages roleplaying and skill learning. It makes an ideal addition to any play kitchen, with non-toxic finishes, and includes a wooden coffee maker, mug, spoon, sugar bowl, and milk carton. It’s ideal for children from three to five years of age, and helps refine both social skills and fine motor control through creative play. Cultural toys such as this also aid children in the acquisition of social behaviors and concepts, while enhancing mental faculties that will one day form the basis of the adult intellect.
6. Winkle Rattle and Teether Activity Toy
Teething is a tough time for children and parents alike. But this visually engaging, super-safe teether toy from Manhattan Toy is both visually attractive and offers hours of soothing contact. Crafted from completely non-toxic, soft materials, it offers them a safe surface for chewing, providing pressure for pain relief of sensitive gum tissues. Plus, its bright colors stimulate and engage the eyes of young children, helping them to sharpen visual-spatial reasoning skills.
7. Shopkins Season 5 Play Set
These fun-to-collect charms are visually engaging and can be played with for hours. While they are best for children older than three years of age, the new features include all different characters and occupations. Hidden inside the clear carrying pack are ten visible Shopkins characters, plus two hidden bonus characters within miniature backpacks and two bonus charms.
8. LEGO Creator Sea Plane
This 3-in-1 model kit from LEGO offers children hours of endless fun. They can build the pictured seaplane, but there’s more to this kit than just one design. With a little ingenuity, they can craft a cool catamaran or a swamp boat. Special features of this kit are a large propeller, navigation lights, large pontoons, a tinted windshield, and engine detailing. This is a great kit for kids older than three years, and offers hours of imaginative fun while it hones fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
9. K’NEX 100 Model Building Set
A beloved classic has been refined and offers future engineers and scientists their first taste of the joys of creation. With 863 pieces, children seven years and older can enjoy creating structures or simple machines with moving parts. It teaches spatial reasoning and essential principals of physics such as balance and force. It’s part of what is now called STEAM education, which is science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, because technical sciences benefit from artistic ingenuity.
10. 3’ Trampoline from Little Tikes
Motion and balance are essential skills that children hone at a young age. Plus, anyone who has ever raised a toddler knows they need a fun and safe way to expend excess energy with they’ve exhausted their parents. This low-to-the-ground, compact trampoline is ideal, and provides health benefits of regular activity. The covered springs ensure a safe experience, and a balance bar is on hand to assist young movers with stability during use.