Developmental Toy Ideas
  INFANT TOYS 

0-6 moths +
  • Child Safe Mirrors
  • Rattles
  • Textured Toys & Tethers
  • Play Mats
  • Musical & Lullaby Toys

6-12 months+
  • Baby Faces & Peak a Boo Books 
  • Ring Stackers
  • Stacking Cups
  • Container Play
  • Basic Cause & Effect Toys
  • Pounding Toys
  • Soft Blocks
  • Activity Tables
  • Balls
  • Cars & Boats
  • Push Toys
 


        
 






COMMUNICATION & LANGUAGE
"Toys don't promote language, interaction promotes language. It's what you do with the toys and the opportunities they offer that encourages language development." Pediatric SLP

1-2 years old
  • Play Phones
  • Echo Microphones (or paper towel tubes)
  • Farm Toys... play animal sounds 
  • Baby Dolls...play body parts & feeding
  • Bubbles...play "pop" & "more"
  • Musical Instruments...play bang & shake
  • Stacking Toys & Block...play stack "up" & "uhoh" 
  • Toy Strollers & Vacuums
  • Hammer & Ball Sets 











Toys are a great way to enhance a child's development, but hey are not all created equally. Here are some developmental favorites for young children (infant to preschool):

TOY SAFETY
Beware that there may be various levels of harmful chemicals found in different children's products. Look for toys & feeding products that are Bisphenol-A (BPA) & Phthalate Free.  

Studies have linked exposure to these plasticizers to endocrine disruption, effecting hormone levels, as well as negatively impacting immunity*. They have been shown to leach when toys are mouthed by infants.*

Choose Toys With High Play Value

Toys that have multiple uses or will adapt to grow with the child have a  higher play value.  
For example: a pull toy that is also a shape sorter with stackable blocks 

     MOTOR SKILLS

2-3 years old
  • Tricycles
  • Ladders & Slides
  • Mini Trampolines w/ Handle
  • Ride on Toys
  • Air Filled Stepping Stones
  • Basketball Hoop (toddler)
  • T-Ball Set (toddler)
3-5 years old
  • Hippity Hops
  • Bikes
  • Scooters
  • Tilt/Wobble Boards
  • Bucket Stilts
  • Sling Swings
  • Hop Scotch Boards
  • Jump Ropes
  • Roller Skates
1-2 years old
  • Variety of Balls
  • Tunnels
  • Pull Toys
  • Rocking Horse
  • Water Tables

1-2 years old
  • Variety of Cars
  • Shape Sorters
  • Pouring Cup Tub Toys
  • Large Peg Puzzles
  • Books with Flaps
  • Hungry Caterpillar Book
  • Large Blocks
  • Pop Beads
  • Poppin Pals
FINE MOTOR SKILLS

2-3 years old
  • Crayons of Various Length & Shape
  • Play Dough & Tools
  • Velcro Food & Tools
  • Mr Potato Head
  • Dot Markers
  • Blocks & Bigger Lego's
  • Clipo Blocks
  • Small Peg Puzzles
  • Magna/Aqua Doodle
  • Finger Paint
  • Sand Table w/ Buckets & Shovels
  • Snap & Style Dolls
3-5 years old
  • Button, Lace & Tie
  • Cutting & Tracing 
  • Stickers & Colorforms
  • Lacing & Beading Activities
  • Toys with Key Turning & Knobs
  • Stamps
  • Smaller Lego Sets
  • Wikki sticks & Bendaroos
  • Moon Dough & Model Magic
  • Paint Brush Painting & Chalk
  • Lite Brite
SOCIAL & DRAMATIC PLAY

2-3 years old
  • Dress Up
  • Capes & Hats
  • Tea Sets
  • Cooking Sets
  • Play House & Tent
COGNITIVE & SPATIAL

2-3 years old
  • Matching Cards (opposite & same)
  • 10+ piece puzzles
  • Basic Parquetry
3-5 years old
  • Doctor Kits
  • Action Heroes
  • Kitchen & Grill Sets
  • Tool Benches
  • Teacher Sets
  • Doll House
2-4 years old
  • Tunnels & Trains...over, under, around & through
  • Little People
  • Dublo Block Sets
  • Toy Food & Velcro Food
  • Rhyme & Repetition Books
  • Dramatic Play
3-5 years old
  • 3D Block Puzzles
  • 25-100 Piece Puzzles
  • Spelling Puzzles
  • Clock 
BE CAREFUL

Small parts are safe for most children over 3y/o but small toys & parts may be choking hazards for younger children & siblings. 
REFERENCES:

Sajiki J, Yanagibori R, Kobayashi Y. (2010). Study of experiment on leaching of bisphenol A from infant books to artificial saliva. Nippon Eiseigaku Zasshi., 65(3), 467-70.
KNOW YOUR CHILD

Some kids are movers and some kids are talkers.  Often they are not both, at least not at the same stage in life.  Be aware that every child has their own set of assets & limitations. As much as we all want to strengthen their weaknesses be mindful to cultivate their strengths.
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