Bouncy, big, soft, or just a plain old tennis ball - kids love playing ball games. From practising their throwing, catching and rolling skills to making up their own games, this is a fab toy for boys and girls from an early age. Plus it helps them develop co-ordination and will hopefully prepare them for school PE lessons.
From farmyard animals to grizzlies from the African Safari, toy animal models offer so many options in make believe play. Boys and girls might go for different animals, but you'll find the classics will be as popular with both. Modern versions have flooded the toy market, but we reckon the basic heavy rubber figures still reign.
Whether the humble wooden yo yo or whizzing hi tech versions that light up, there's something seriously satisfying about getting them to work properly. Remember how to do a cats' cradle? No we don't either, but your children will have hours of fun working it out!
Children absolutely LOVE being allowed to draw on the ground with chalk. It's a free pass to create a mess and easily washes of with a sponge or in a downpour. Everything from drawings to games of hopscotch get kids outside, active and using their imagination. And it might unleash their inner artist.
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Bath toys make washing fun for you and your children. Rather than a quick splash, kids will enjoy swimming about for hours in the tub until fingers are all wrinkly. Bath toys are also great for encouraging nervous babies to put their faces under water too and get splashing about.
The humble wooden brick - when it comes to toys it just doesn't get simpler than that does it? Building the tallest tower, the coolest castle or making sure the alphabet is in the right order is great for boys and girls alike. It'll teach great skills in terms of balance and the effect of gravity (and patience when the tower inevitably gets knocked down!).
Whether your tot is a mini Nigella or a little Jamie, start them off wih fruit and veg that sticks together with velcro. Boys enjoy playing 'chef' as much as girls and with addition of shopping baskets and kitchen worktops, you'll encourage your future foodie. These make great sandpit and bath toys as well.
Puzzles can be ten piece, a thousand piece, wooden or felt and they're still a hit. Unisex scenes and colourschemes make them perfect for brothers and sisters to play together and the picture at the end is a reward in itself
Playing board games is a great way for kids to learn about rules, strategy, winning and losing. But will it be the boys or the girls who take it best? Old school board games are a brilliant way to get the family involved, especially in teams or when your children have friends over. Simple board games for young kids will set them up for years of enjoyment.
Riding a bike is an essential skill for boys and girls and a tirst trike is the perfect way to start learning. Foot to floor trikes help increase muscle strength and coordination. Whether plodding around the garden or making up games about being in a police chase, this is a toy that can be passed down, whether you have girls or boys.
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