Toys and Equipment
Basic toys and play equipment for playgroups include:
- A variety of balls, small bats
- Interlocking or wooden blocks, construction sets (at least 20 large pieces)
- Washable dolls, doll’s bed and bedding
- Baby toys, rattles, soft toys, washable or cardboard books
- Large crayons, paste and paint brushes, non-spill paint pots, blunt ended scissors
- Sets of animals, cars, trains, musical instruments, tea sets, cooking sets
- Buckets, spades, scoops, dump trucks and graders for the sandpit or digging patch
- Push or pedal wheeled toys such as tricycles, walker wagons, pull along toys, dolls’ prams, wheelbarrows
- Floor rugs, play mats
- Tarpaulins or sheets of strong plastic to protect floor from messy play activities
- Storage boxes
- Furniture for small children
Ten questions to ask when choosing toys for playgroup
- Will it withstand constant, heavy use?
- Is it safe for all children or will it need to be used in a restricted area?
- Can it be easily cleaned?
- Is it appropriate to the children’s abilities?
- Does it encourage social interaction or is it used individually?
- Is it simple and able to be used by children of different ages?
- Does it give the opportunity to develop and practise new skills?
- Does it have scope for imagination and experimentation?
- Is it in line with the interests of this group of children?
- What is its value - does it entertain, encourage physical play, foster creativity or is it a tool for imaginative play?
Tip – Avoid toys with batteries, they pose a health risk and are not fun when batteries go flat!
Take into account individual differences. The aptitude, personality and interests of a child will determine which toys he or she prefers. Toys that fascinate one child may be of no interest to another.
Playgroup WA has also developed a guide for choosing toys for playgroups which can be found here.
Recycled materials for play
Play does not need to be expensive. There are lots of activities that can be done at playgroup at low cost, using recycled materials and some imagination. Playgroup WA's website has lots of great ideas for making use of recycled materials for play experiences, here: Activity Sheets.
If you have any of your own ideas and would like to share them email firstname.lastname@example.org or share them to the Playgroup WA Facebook page.