by Brooke Bartlett
Many toys keep getting more complex, but children still love simple toys that give their imaginations an outlet. Play sets provide children with a variety of simple toys and objects that let their minds come alive. Play sets can encourage individual play as well as social play and sharing. Whether your kids are dressing up in costumes or building a city of blocks with a friend, children's play sets are one of the best ways for children develop their social skills and have a lot of fun. Here are some of the best play sets to provide for your children.
Dress-up Sets: Costumes aren't just for Halloween, and a dress-up box provides hours of entertainment and endless possibilities. Choose sets that come with lots of pieces that can be mixed and matched; be careful of tiny accessories if you have smaller children in the house. Many costume sets come with a trunk in which to store the clothes once playtime is over, but you can also use a duffel bag or plastic storage box.
Building sets: Building sets help develop math skills, science skills, and spatial awareness. A building set can be as simple as a collection of large blocks or as elaborate as a metal construction set that comes with working motors and gears. Sets with large pieces can help toddlers improve their gross motor skills, while more intricate sets encourage fine motor and problem-solving skills in older children.
Art sets: Many children love to express themselves through artistic endeavors, and art kits are an excellent outlet for creative energy. You can select from a wide range of mediums, including markers or crayons, paint, clay, beads, or needlework. Art sets and creative projects give your child a tangible creation which they can be proud to gift, wear, or display.
Imaginative play sets: Pretend play sets, like toy kitchens, toy workbenches, play doctor kits, and spy gear, allow children to act out the things they see in the world around them, and experiment with roles they are not old enough to handle in real life. As children grow, the type of play evolves, and children can use imaginative play sets to practice conflict resolution, dealing with bullies, and other challenges they face in everyday life.
Dolls and dollhouses: Dollhouses give young children the perfect setting to act out grown-up life in a safe way. Giving a child a baby doll lets him or her practice being the person in charge, and it helps children learn to take care of the needs of others.
Published April 29, 2010
Updated December 2, 2014