How to Choose Toys at Every Stage of Development
Most of us can recall at least one toy from our childhood that left an enduring impression, and we can all agree that the toys we played with as kids partially shaped our lives. However, toys have roles beyond the memories they leave us with; the best toddler and kids’ toys engage children’s senses, spur their imaginations and encourage interaction with others, which are all crucial to proper kids development.
Children Ages 0-1
In the beginning of their development, children are curious, ready to learn and stimulated by almost everything they see. Sensory development is dominant during toddlerhood, and the best wind up toys include textures, sounds, colors and shapes to sharpen all the senses. Sensory toys can include, but aren’t limited to, pedal car for kids, bubbles, art supplies, sand toys and the toddler toy guitar. Different colors and sounds will stimulate a toddler’s developing vision and hearing, while open-ended toys like building blocks will build their fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination. These toys have been proven to develop toddlers’ sense of object permanence, which is the concept that objects still exist when they can’t be touched, smelled, heard, seen or otherwise sensed.
Children Ages 2-4
The following developmental stage, though different, is just as crucial to a child’s overall growth and it pertains mostly to physical growth and development. By the age of 2 or 3, a toddler can start using more complex toys such as indoor toddler climbing toys and the best push trikes for toddlers. However, toys that spurred learning and growth in the previous developmental stage can still offer benefits. As children’s motor skills continue to evolve, toys that help them name and identify shapes are important.
At this developmental stage, not only do kids recognize that toys have shapes, but that those shapes can be matched in other toys. Examples of learning toys in this category include kids sports toys, interlocking blocks and shape sorters.
Children Ages 4-10
In the following years, when children start school, development and learning become more complex as they begin to understand and identify intricate details like languages, numbers or letters. Children’s development at this stage is primarily focused on intellectual and creative growth. Several types of educational toys can provide benefits at this stage, ranging from word games, construction toys for toddlers and puzzles to electronic games that provide mathematics instruction and visual stimulation. Play is important at this developmental stage, as experimentation and experience can supplement what kids learn in school. Giving them the chance to practice what they’ve learned while having fun will help them retain more knowledge from year to year.
While children work their way through various developmental stages that can be augmented by different kinds of toys, the main thing to remember is that all play and all toys are beneficial to a child’s growth. Children must experience the world to learn from it, and they will gain confidence as they play with toys and form relationships with other kids. Therefore, no matter which toy they choose as a favorite, their experiences with it will last a lifetime. I’ve recently started following a few toy blogs which help with learning how to stimulate my kids with play and various types of toys. These 2 are my favorite:
- The Toy Guy blog – https://www.thetoyguy.com/blog/
- Epic Kids Toys blog – https://www.epickidstoys.com/blog/
5 Best Toys for Toddler Development
Are you ready to dive into the world of toddlerhood and watch those tiny humans of yours grow, learn, and play their way to becoming mini explorers? Well, hold onto your hats, because we’ve got the lowdown on the 5 Best Toys for Toddler Development that’ll have your little ones laughing, learning, and leaping forward!
1. Stack ‘Em Up Blocks: What’s better than a tower of blocks? A tower of blocks that your little one builds all by themselves! These colorful wonders aren’t just for stacking; they’re also for sparking imagination, fine-tuning motor skills, and teaching those problem-solving skills we all need in life. Bonus: Knocking down the tower and starting over? Endless entertainment.
2. Musical Marvels: Budding Beethoven or just a fan of the shake-shake dance? Musical toys are where it’s at! From jingly-jangly tambourines to pint-sized pianos, these melodious marvels get those fingers tapping, those toes twirling, and those rhythmic brain cells firing. Plus, who can resist a toddler jam session? Dance party, anyone?
3. Shape Sorters & Puzzles: Say hello to the brain boosters! Shape sorters and puzzles aren’t just cool for honing those fine motor skills; they’re secret agents for teaching shapes, colors, and how things fit together. It’s like solving a tiny mystery every time a shape finds its perfect spot. Sherlock Holmes, eat your heart out!
4. Storytime Stars: Picture books, pop-up books, touch-and-feel books – we’re all about books! They’re not just bedtime buddies; they’re imagination igniters, vocabulary expanders, and the keys to unlocking a lifelong love for reading. Plus, snuggling up for storytime is an extra dose of bonding magic. Who knew learning could be this cozy?
5. Play-Doh Palooza: Roll it, squish it, mold it – the world of Play-Doh is a sensory wonderland! This squishy stuff is like creativity in a can, letting those tiny hands explore textures, shapes, and endless possibilities. And the best part? It’s okay to make a mess! The mess is where the magic happens.
There you have it, the fabulous five toys that’ll turn your toddler’s playtime into a developmental adventure. Remember, it’s not just about the toys; it’s about the laughter, the exploration, and the moments you share. So, let those little learners loose and watch them conquer the world, one toy at a time!
Stay curious, stay playful, and keep rockin’ the toddler journey!
Toodles and toys, Your Friendly Toddler Team at Candle Wick Kids