There are many toys that will capture the interest of both of your children, but they may play with the toys differently based on their individual level of development. Take the Laugh & Learn Learning Home, for example.
Your one-year-old daughter will most likely investigate the put-and-take activities, shape sorters, and buttons to press—over and over again—to see what reaction she has caused. She'll be engaged and learn many things from her investigations.
Now, your three-year-old son will probably be most interested in the interactions of balls and shapes within the toy, the variety of things he can make happen, and all the opportunities for creativity. He'll soon be able to skillfully operate all the activities and sing along with the many songs, or even create a song or two of his own.
With your guidance, both of your children can enjoy playing with it together, and in the process, each of them will develop skills and understandings appropriate for them.
Little People™ playsets are other examples of toys your children can play with together at their own developmental levels. Your one-year-old will probably be fascinated with putting figures and vehicles in and out and moving them around, perhaps even naming them, while your three-year-old will be busily engaged creating imaginative scenarios and conversations, complete with sound effects. With your help, they can both experience the richness of such shared playtimes.
In addition to sharing toys, your children can also enjoy listening to music and reading books together. You might even find your son trying to “read” to your daughter, imitating how you read stories to them!
Kathleen Alfano Ph.D., Former Director of Child Research at Fisher-Price®
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.