As well as being fun, play is vital for a child’s development; it’s how they learn. As Albert Einstein put it, ‘Play is the highest form of research’. Good quality play doesn’t mean a box crammed full of single-purpose plastic toys that ultimately end up in landfill or in broken bits along our coastline. In fact, the opposite is true. Simple toys that allow children to use their creativity and imagination are best. Think wooden blocks, sandpits, clay and playdough – toys that can be enjoyed over and over again and used in many different ways. Invest in a few good quality sustainable toys your child will cherish and hire the rest from your local toy library. Toy libraries have a great selection of toys, puzzles, games and dress ups and are a cheap and environmentally friendly alternative to buying. They also encourage sharing and will keep your child engaged with a changing array of age-appropriate toys to match their developmental stage.