Structured Toys

Structured Toys

Structured toys have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Structured toys can only be put together one way and are self-correcting. There’s generally a rule or set of rules, and each piece plays a clear role in the completion of the play activity (such as puzzles or nesting blocks). The materials themselves indicate the method of play.
An example is a sequencing word game that uses three letters to make a word, like C-A-T.

Together, the letters form a picture of a cat, which is easier for young children to put together. As the puzzle is completed by forming the picture, the child starts to recognize the pattern and associate the letters to the word, and eventually learns to spell CAT. Not only has the child solved a problem toward mastery and independence, but he or she is beginning to memorize concepts, as well as to understand sequencing and consequences.

These types of toys evolve as a child develops. More difficult activities, games, and puzzles will be needed as a child masters easier ones.

Structured Toy Suggestions
Infants and Toddlers
• Ring stackers
• Empty containers
• Stacking cups
• Shape sorter
• Graduated cups (measuring cups that fit together)
• Inset puzzles (a single piece fits in a single space in a board, often wooden with knobs in the shape of animals or people)
• Puzzles (one to five large pieces)

• Basic board games (Bingo, Chutes and Ladders, Candyland)
• Building blocks
• Lacing cards (thread holes with yarn or string, or sewing cards)
• Peg boards with a set number of pegs
• Puzzles (10 to 30 pieces, floor and boxed)

Elementary-Age Children
• Board games for older children (Pictionary, hangman)
• Model vehicle sets (trucks, cars, airplanes)
• Puzzles (30 to 50 pieces)
• Lego kits or sets
• Engineering design and building kits

The paperback version of Create a Home of Learning is available at Amazon, your favorite bookseller or

Comments 0

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published