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5 Excellent Toys Under $20 to Improve Dexterity for Young Children

Updated on May 24, 2016
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Playtime is a great way to bond with your child, it’s also the best time to build up and strengthen your kid’s motor skills. Some points to note when picking toys are if they are safe, value for money, enriching and most importantly ­– they had better be fun!

Children learn best when they are given free rein and room for creativity, they love mimicking what adults do, this explains why there is a vast array of toys made to replicate ‘grown up’ stuff!

Here are some gender neutral toys and play sets that encourage our little ones to make use of their imagination and improve hand-eye coordination.

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Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Seaside Sidekicks Sand Cupcake Set →

Pack your swimsuits and head to the beach with this! Even if you are not one for a dip, this trip could be equally entertaining with the Sand Cupcake set.

I had very fond memories of building sand castles as a child and this is an adorable twist to what you could make with damp sand. They are made of sturdy plastics that are not flimsy, and extremely easy to clean (just rinse).

This set is all about process, just like how you’d do with baking real cupcakes in the kitchen. It keeps the kids busy for hours on end, mixing ‘batters’, filling the molds, ‘baking’, ‘frosting’ and decorating the cupcakes with little odds and ends like shells, flowers or stones.




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Rhythm Band Rockin' Rhythm Bag →

There are some parents who would put their kids through music classes at a very young age. I do not necessarily disagree with it, but I believe that children should be able to enjoy their childhood and not feel stifled under the pressure of performing under restrictions.

This set is a fantastic way to nurture a budding musician. Let your child explore his/her musical capabilities with a mix bag of quality pieces.

There is a good variety of instruments in the set (2 maracas, a 4" triangle, a pair of sand blocks, a tone block with mallet, a pair of rhythm sticks, cluster bells, wrist bells, and an automatic hand castanet). They do not look cheap at all, are long-lasting, and comes in individual storage bags. A plus point is the musical booklet included!

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Melissa & Doug Wooden Sandwich-Making Set →

Melissa & Dougs wooden play-food sets are always very highly rated. Simply because they are well put together, durable enough to withstand a lot of abuse from children (throwing, smashing etcetera) and provides endless fun for both young and old.

Pieces are made with impeccable craftsmanship, if not realistic. Being solid wood, there’s a bit of weight in these and I think that’s perfectly fine. I would not want them to be hollow or so light and brittle that they could break easily.

Food items are held together with Velcro, so when your child slices through them with the included (wooden) knife, you would get a satisfying ‘crunch’ which I reckon is just pure genius!

There is no set way to assemble your sandwich, this opens up so many possibilities to the combinations your child could come up with.

To elevate playtime, you could provide your child with a little box as a cash box and use hand-drawn "money" (or borrow the notes from Monopoly). Pretend kiddo opened a sandwich bar, it is a good way to introduce math and counting.



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Play-doh poster - Imagination Take Over
Play-doh poster - Imagination Take Over | Source

Play-Doh: Fun Factory Deluxe Set →

For some reason, I have come to realize that every kid (I used to teach children Art) likes to model something out of pliable materials. Be it using plasticine, clay, blu-tack or even.. boogers.

You do not even have to think of a topic for your kids, once you set a couple cans of Play-Doh in front of them, ideas would start churning in those little head of theirs.

The Fun Factory Deluxe Set comes with 6 cans of Play-Doh, in different colors to start you off. The colors could be mixed to create new colors (a great way to teach combinations, example: red + yellow = orange). You will also find a multitude of tools in the bundle that includes animal-shaped cookie cutters, rollers and a dough extruder.

If you are looking for themes to toss around during a children's party or play-date, Hasbro has got some Fresh Ideas you should definitely check out!


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Concentration!
Concentration! | Source

KidKraft Wooden Block Set →

Stacking blocks are an amazing way to improve dexterity with all the balancing and construction. I have specifically chosen to talk about this particular set because it offers a grand total of 100 blocks (36 pieces of colored blocks + 64 pieces of natural blocks). The colors are chic and suitable for both genders.

Comparing these to some of the other 100-piece wooden block sets, I prefer the KidKraft Wooden Block Set because of its size. Many of its competitors have 100-piece sets that are too tiny and light for building, making it hard for the buildings to stay up. This could cause more frustration for the young one than enjoyment or fun.

KidKraft’s set however, is cut bigger; they are perfect for tiny hands and large enough to not pose as a choking hazard. They do not crumble as easily and children can incorporate other little toys (like toy cars, figurines etc.) to their creations.

© 2012 Peony

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    • P FOR PEONY profile imageAUTHOR

      Peony 

      6 years ago

      @ Laci Ledbetter - Thanks! Glad it was of use to you (:

    • Laci Ledbetter profile image

      Laci Ledbetter 

      6 years ago from Fayetteville, Arkansas

      Great hub! Thanks for the info!

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