Best Developmental Toys Your Children Will Love

Children learn primarily through play. Playtime is their “school” or “job” to develop the skills they need later for their actual schooling and occupations. When you see playtime as education, then you’ll want to provide your child with toys that grow their brains, bodies, and language skills. 

Should All Toys Be Educational?

Not necessarily, but children should have access to mostly educational toys.  

Toys shape your child’s understanding and interpretation of their world. If every toy has lights, noises, music, or some technology component, they won’t be satisfied with anything that isn’t interactive in later years. 

Children who grow up playing with open-ended toys (that is, toys that can be used in more than one way, like blocks) will be more curious, have excellent problem-solving skills, and be more content. Tech-based toys usually have only one function or purpose and can be addictive just like other forms of technology.  

Tech toys are permissible throughout the day but shouldn’t be your primary form of toys.

Understanding How Your Child Develops

Children develop in three primary areas: cognitive (which includes emotions), physical, and speech/language skills. 

  • Cognitive development includes problem-solving, decision-making, abstract thinking, and emotional regulation.
  • Physical development includes both gross and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills are big movements, like crawling, walking, running, jumping, climbing, and more. Fine motor skills involve picking up or manipulating small objects purposefully. Coordination is also important for gross and fine motor skills.
  • Speech and language skills include growing a vocabulary, developing sentence structure, and comprehending what others are saying. 

A developmental toy will encourage growth in one or more of these areas.

Best Developmental Toys for Babies 

The best developmental toys for babies have high-contrast colors because their vision is still developing and toys with bright or high-contrasting colors and bold patterns will grab and keep their attention. Playmats with mobiles are great for newborns, while blocks, stacking rings, and rattles are good choices for older babies. 

Toys should include various textures, as babies want to touch everything–and put it in their mouth! Ensure that toys and books don’t have any small pieces that a baby can choke on. 

Once your child begins to be mobile, push and pull toys will help develop their gross motor skills, as they both make these toys cruise and chase after them. Grow speech and language skills with simple books. 

Best Developmental Toys for Toddlers

Children at this age are testing their newfound independence, so it’s important to find toys that give them a challenge but are still simple enough to grow their confidence in independence. Puzzles with large pieces, blocks, and matching games combine cognitive development with gross and fine motor development.

Toddlers love creating artwork. Simple art supplies help develop sequencing skills, fine motor development, and creativity. Crayons, paint sticks, paint brushes, or markers should all be non-toxic, as children often try to taste them.

To develop your toddler’s speech skills, puppets, dolls and action figures, and kitchen sets let your child utilize their growing vocabulary. Age-appropriate books introduce new words, help build sentence structure, and reinforce their understanding of words they already know. 

Best Developmental Toys for Pre-K Children

Pre-K children have more developed cognitive, motor, and language skills and can do more coordinated activities. They can do many of the same activities as toddlers but on a higher level. For instance, puzzles with interlocking pieces, magnetic tile pieces for building structures, and Duplo or LEGO blocks are more appropriate and challenging for Pre-K kids.

Tripod scooters, balance bikes or tricycles, or bicycles with training wheels improve their gross motor skills. For fine motor, you can choose more challenging art projects, such as paint-by-numbers, scissor activities, stickers, or tracing. 

Keep reading age-appropriate books to develop your child’s language skills. They may also benefit from an interactive toy that teaches letters, letter sounds, numbers, a second language, and more in preparation for kindergarten. 

Choosing the right toys for your child is just as important as choosing the right foods. While everything is alright in moderation, you still want your child to eat their fruits, veggies, grains, and proteins. Don’t give your child just tech-based toys–instead, choose a variety of toys that develop their cognition, motor skills, and language skills.

Bright Start Louisville offers exceptional childcare to children six weeks to 12 years old. We’re proud to offer a fun and educational preschool program that prepares your child for kindergarten per state educational standards.

If you’re looking for excellent childcare that gives your child a head start in life, contact Bright Start Louisville today!

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