For some kids, the urge to take things apart is hard to resist!
No sooner have you given them a lovely new toy than they’ve pulled it to pieces.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, of course.
Taking things apart shows a natural curiosity for how things work.
It shows that they’re interested in how things go together.
And if they like to put their toy back together again, that’s even better. You may have a future designer, builder, or engineer on your hands!
But taking things apart at this age has its risks. If your toddler loves to put things in their mouth (and most do!) then you need to be very careful when they’re taking toys apart.
Choosing toys that are safe to pull apart is an excellent option (even better if they’re designed for that exact purpose).
Here are some tips for what to give a toddler who just doesn’t want their toys to stay in one piece!
Building Blocks. Lots of them!
Building blocks are my number one choice when I’m choosing a toy for a toddler.
Make a tower, knock it down again.
Build it up high and push it on over.
Use the blocks to make an animal or creature, then pull it apart and start again.
If your toddler loves to take things apart, blocks are the perfect choice for them. LEGO DUPLO is my go-to brand for building blocks.
They’re easy for little fingers to handle and they go together nicely without needing adult help. They’re easy to dismantle (either carefully or with a mighty crash!) and they’re safe.
You know that there will be no small parts flying off, no sharp edges, and no broken pieces.
Blocks are also one of those toys for toddlers who have everything because you can never have too many!
Check this guide to the best LEGO DUPLO sets for toddlers to find one that will interest your toddler.
If DUPLO is not your thing, there are plenty of other types of building blocks on the market. Just make sure they’ll be able to handle the rough and tumble play that toddlers dish out!
Your toddler might not be up to putting together a huge project just yet, but it’s never too early to get them started on some simple assembly toys.
If your toddler loves taking things apart, assembly toys will be a real winner.
They’re all about how things fit together and how they work. And of course, they get to pull them apart when they’re done.
Keep it simple though.
We’re talking about things like a vehicle with a small number of chunky parts. Or a set of animals where they have to put their arms, legs, and tails on. Even something like a Mr. Potato Head (if you think the pieces won’t be too small for your child).
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s designed to be pulled apart again when they’re done. Putting it together and keeping it that way isn’t half as much fun!
Toys That Need Organizing
If your little one loves to take things apart, they may also be a fan of organizing their toys.
Ever wondered what it means when a toddler lines up his/her toys? Or why they enjoy sorting things into groups?
Small children are just like us adults – often, they like to bring a bit of order to their world.
We might do it by organizing the cutlery drawer, where they might prefer to put all their trains in a single line. Or sort their toy cars into groups based on color.
There are plenty of toys on the market that are designed just for this. For example, sort and count cups or little colored bugs that need to match with a colored bowl (often these toys will come with tongs which are also great for developing fine motor skills).
A set of plastic animals is great for lining up and so is a set of wooden people.
Don’t work too hard on it though – if your toddler feels the need for a bit of order, they’ll probably do it using the toys they already have!
STEM toys are a great choice if your toddler has a special interest in taking things apart.
Engineering and constructing (and of course deconstructing!) are a focus areas in STEM education, so encourage your little one’s interest with some quality educational toys.
But what are the best learning toys for toddlers?
Think about toys that develop problem-solving skills and exploration. Anything that involves building and creating is a good thing.
Remember though, for this age group, it’s all about playing and having fun. If the toys are too serious, your toddler will simply lose interest.
If you need ideas and inspiration, have a look at these suggestions for the best STEM toys for toddlers. Have fun with it and your toddler will, too!
Having a toddler who takes everything apart can be frustrating.
There’s nothing worse than spending ages helping them create an elaborate design with their toys, only to have them pull it to pieces in the blink of an eye.
Stay calm though – it’s for the greater good!
Keep in mind that while they’re pulling things apart (and hopefully putting them back together sometimes), they’re learning lots of important things.
They’re developing their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. They’re practicing problem-solving skills and fostering their cognitive abilities. They’re figuring out how things go together and what makes them work.
Why not join them?
Pull things apart together and talk about what you’re seeing. Ask them questions about what they’re doing. Ask them why they think that happened and what they should do next.
There’s a lot of educational benefits to be gained from what they’re doing. Remember that taking things apart today may lead to a successful career in STEM when they’re older!
What’s your toddler’s favorite toy to take apart? Leave a comment below!
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