Your questions answered

Question: We have lots of toys but my toddler hardly plays with them any more. How can I get him interested in them again?

Doctor Woolfson's Answer:

The first step in re-engaging your toddler is to understand why he has lost interest. There are many possible explanations, for instance, he might be bored with same toys day after day, he might have too many toys to play with and simply doesn’t know where to begin, he might have lost his confidence in play because he has found the toys too challenging, or he might have an underlying learning difficulty that makes his toys too demanding for him. Could any of these possibly apply to your toddler?

Whatever the cause of his drop in interest, however, there are things you can do to motivate him again. Pick one or two toys that are specifically for his age group, and then watch how he plays with them. When his interest wanes, get involved yourself. Play with your toddler using these toys. Show him how they can be used, and then encourage him to copy you. The chances are that he’ll happily take his lead from you. Keep it fun, though, not serious. Your involvement in his play makes the whole experience more exciting and pleasurable for him. Once he starts to re-engage, gradually give him more toys and broaden out his play activities. If his lack interest persists despite your support, it would be worth having an informal chat with your family doctor about your concerns.