Top Ten Toys You Need to Have in Your Home Childcare

Are you opening up a Home Childcare or looking to update the toys you have in your existing one? Have you recently asked yourself “What type of toys should I buy?”, “Which toys are the biggest hit with children?” or even, “Which toy brands are the most durable?” If you said yes to any of the previous questions, this article is for you!

There are a few basic things to understand before you start buying toys. Taking care of children under the age of 5 might bring difficulties to determine which toys are best to buy. You want to make sure the toys you buy serve an educational purpose while also promoting social skills. It is also crucial to have a proper storage space for all your toys. We recommend low, opening shelving and organizational baskets from Ikea, specifically KALLAX and BRANAS models.

Toy #1: Props and Dress-up Clothes

Children have wild imaginations and can be creative on their own without needing a lot of materials. Having props and a dress-up station is a fantastic idea to entertain toddlers. Give the children at your childcare centre to transform into a princess or doctor by having the materials for them to dress up with. This will stimulate their brain and spark their creativity. Basic props like capes & aprons, bracelets & mittens, colourful scarves, and various handbags come in handy. Bonus: include a full-length mirror. Mirrors are a great addition to your space, benefiting all ages.

Toy #2: Nesting and Stacking Cubes

Children love the concept of building something up and then taking those objects apart. Stacking Cubes are very versatile items in your Home Childcare. Among their stacking purposes they can also be used as props in other games. Nesting blocks bring out the creative aspects of children and allow them to use their imagination. Having these two simple toys in your childcare will advocate for children to utilize their imagination and stimulates brain development.

Toy #3: Blocks

Having blocks in your childcare will serve a similar purpose that nesting and stacking cubes do. With blocks there is a wider range of options from wooden to LEGO blocks. LEGO blocks are popular with children but the small pieces can be a choking hazard. Blocks are a great necessity and an add on for homes. Children will have the freedom to play with the blocks however they choose and their only limitation is their imagination.

Toy #4: Soft Balls and Bean Bags

Soft balls and bean bags are great for both indoor and outdoor play! A soft ball can be tossed around in groups or individually to help stimulate the brain. Soft balls are a good toy to have in your home even if you have a small number of children. Children can utilize it alone and in groups. Bean bags can be used in multiple games, it is up to the imagination of many pretend games (stepping stones, treasure, etc.).

Toy #5: Kitchen Pretend Play Items

Children are very observant of their surroundings and often want to make their parents proud. This gives childcare providers the opportunity to set up an environment that creates rich, stimulating, and developmental moments to mimic what they see at home. Be sure to have a child-size kitchen set up in a designated area. By doing so, you provide children with an opportunity to spark creativity with pretend play and storytelling. Your area can include, but is not limited to:

  • Small Table & Chairs

  • Durable/Plastic Dishes

  • Fridge & Stove

  • Pots & Pans

BONUS! On top of mirroring the kitchen life with your children, some children enjoy sweeping and cleaning up an area because it makes their parents happy. You can buy child-size brooms and small dustpans.

Toy #6: Books

Children are never too young to be exposed to books and literacy. At a young age children can be taught that a book is meant to have its pages turned from right to left. Depending on the age of the children, they might require assistance reading through the books. Fairytales, classic, and storytime books are a good first start to your own collection. If you have the extra space, it’ll be important to have a bookshelf to keep your books off the floor, neat, and organized. BONUS! If you have a little extra spending money, purchasing bean bag chairs or a soft child-size couch will be a great addition!

Toy #7: Dolls and Accessories

Dolls are a great toy for children because they are often seen as a representation of themselves, or what they want to be. Playing with dolls can:

  • It improves a child's social skills by playing house

  • It encourages sharing with other children

  • It teaches responsibility by taking care of a doll properly

  • It increase a child’s imagination

  • It build empathy and compassion in a child

BONUS! Dollhouses can be a great fit in addition to these toys.

Toy #8: Puzzles

Having simple and easy puzzle pieces can help stimulate a child’s cognitive, problem solving, and hand-eye coordination skills. It is best to incorporate puzzles of various difficulty levels into your centre so children can challenge themselves. Encourage children to work together on puzzles as a group to increase their social skills, if a child needs help along the way, try to help by using only your words. For example, if a child is solving a puzzle of a park and the piece that is missing is part of the red slide, you can say “you are still missing a piece of the slide so where do you see the red piece?”

Toy #9: Ride-on Cars

If you have active children in your group, ride-on cars will be a great hit with them! Ride-on cars can be utilized both outdoors and indoors, depending on the space you have in your home. If you have a big enough open space with hard flooring, children can ride around indoors. When the weather is nice enough, you can take the children outside or to a nearby park and have them develop their gross motor skills.

Toy #10: Toy Vehicles

Toy vehicles are similar to ride-on cars but with toy vehicles, groups of children can enjoy them. If you invest in good quality toy vehicles from the start, it will help limit having to replace them as often. Toy vehicles are a huge success with all children. Toy vehicles that have the ability to do one or more of the following, tend to be more popular:

  • Push dirt

  • Carry passengers

  • Doors that open fully, etc

Toys are an essential for any childcare centre as they encourage play and stimulate brain development. No matter what toys you choose to purchase, it is recommended to have a wide variety of toy choices. Some toys can be purely for play but others should serve an educational purpose and encourage development in a child.