– Playing with toys is an integral part of childhood that can foster your youngster's senses of wonder and fun. Some toys, however, are also designed to assist in the development of your child's mind, and these products can offer a wide range of benefits to your little one. At drugstore.com, we have a selection of early development toys that can help infants and toddlers master important skills and hone new abilities. read more about early development toys »
Toys designed for early childhood development have more benefits than just being fun for your tot to play with. Consistent use of these toys can help expand your child's mind because they teach vital skills and advance cognitive processing abilities. There are several types of toys that can influence development in different ways. Toys that promote hand-eye coordination, for example, can help your little one hone his or her fine- and gross-motor skills.
As kids get a little older, these toys can progress to teaching your youngster about spatial relationships and how certain elements fit together, like a puzzle, to form a whole. Cause-and-effect toys are another popular style because they teach children that when they perform an action (such as pushing a button or pulling a lever), the toy will do something fun in response (for example, playing a sound or lighting up). Robotic or electronic toys give children a very basic understanding of how computers work--which is a very vital skill to start developing at a young age in today's world.
How to Choose Toys by Age Group
Giving your child toys that are too advanced for his or her current developmental stage can result in frustration or disinterest, so it's important to choose products based on the age group for which they are recommended. Many doctors and developmental experts advise that young infants mostly prefer toys that don't require much effort to use.
The ages from 0 to 6 months are mostly about discovery of colors, shapes, and textures. Once your baby gets a little older, however, he or she may progress to playing with cause-and-effect toys like noisemakers or light-up play sets.
In the range from one to two years, experts recommend introducing nesting and stacking toys that will take a little while for your toddler to master but can promote a sense of accomplishment. Options like building blocks and shape sorters can also be popular for kids in this stage, as fine-motor skills and spatial relationships start to get better developed.
Older toddlers often start to appreciate toys like art supplies, which allow them to express creativity, as well as more advanced options for hand-eye-coordination, including basic sports equipment and complex building blocks.
Tips for Toy Safety
No matter what developmental stage your child falls into, it's important to consider safety when picking out toys. Remember that the age ranges stated on individual products are there for a reason. Toys meant for older kids might contain small or sharp parts that could injure younger children, for instance. You may also want to regularly inspect kids' toys for damage such as chipped paint or broken components and replace them as necessary.
For babies and toddlers, learning is actually a fun activity, and our early development toys at drugstore.com can help stretch your little one's mind and improve upon valuable skills.