Right around this age your child is going to become very determined when it comes to cause-effect and problem-solving toys. They’ve spent all this time trying and have been very interested in these types of toys… the difference now is that they are developing the fine motor skills and motor planning abilities to functionally use the toys.
Some toys that we recommend you add to your child’s toy chest include: shape sorters, stacking cups, big Legos, jack-in-the box, pop-up toys, Magnatiles, Tegu Tiles, puzzles, magnets, Melissa and Doug Water Wow! Book, etc. It is really any toy that allows them to first think and then act – you will see the motor planning in action! And really any toy where they can build or see the consequence of their action take place (e.g. – a magnetic letter sticks to a magnetic wall – wow!).
Allow your child to make a mess and make mistakes. If they don’t put it in the right spot at first give them a minute and let them see if they can figure it out. If you see them getting frustrated ask them “Do you need help? Mommy can help you?” It’s a great opportunity for them to imitate “help”. Let the blocks fall over. It gives you a chance to say “Uh Oh they fell down. Let’s build again!” So much language learning can take place with these toys and they also grow with your child.