Developmental Toys for the First Five Years

Waldschattenspiel, game for children of walter...

Waldschattenspiel, game for children of walter Kraul from 1985. It is to play in the dark and the shodows play a great role. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First time parents are often uncertain about the development of their child. They are not always sure how to encourage their child’s growth in the many areas that need their gentle guidance. That’s why developmental toys can be so useful in those first five years of a child’s life. Before they go off to school and learn, they must learn the basic milestones of their young lives. From crawling and walking to talking and counting, social and motor skills and finally reading and listening, children have so many things to learn. Parents can help them learn these skills with the aid of educational and developmental toys and games.

Year One

In the first year of baby’s life there are so many things to learn, visual, audio and tactile skills and then physical fine and gross motor skills.

Some great toys for babies to develop their visual, audio and tactile skills are soft toys with dials and buzzers, squeakers and patches. Rattles with bells and books with bright colours and shapes and bold lines.

As baby gets older and wants to move, toys like play mats with bells and texture pads and hanging toys are great to develop rolling and grabbing. Walkers and jumpers are great for strengthening legs and balance.

Year Two

In the second year a baby learns to walk and talk and develop higher motor skills with hands and feet.

Balls are great for two year olds, to kick and push around. Wagons are great for pulling and pushing. Blocks are good for stacking and building. Shovels will help them discover sand and soil. Two years old love water play and a water table is invaluable in the summer months.

A two year old will love to hear stories and songs from books and will appreciate finer detail in pictures and colour.

Year Three

As a child grows, their ability to pretend and use their imagination really starts to develop. Brands like Fisher Price and Little People are great for toys that provide props for role play and scenarios.

A three year old is better able to hold a pencil or crayon and will love to scribble and draw on paper and chalk boards. A three year old also begins to imitate mum and dad, and may like to use a toy telephone or pram, or drive a car or put things in a bag or basket.

Three year olds like to get busy in the garden or at the beach with shovels and buckets.

Year Four

A four year old has become rather proficient at many things like walking, running, jumping and dancing. They will enjoy ball games and out door games like sand pit and wading pools and sprinklers.

At four children love to dress up and play out their favourite character or scenario, so providing some simple costumes and props will encourage lots of role play.

A four year old might like to use an instrument to play along to their favourite song. They like to blow bubbles and get a little more sophisticated in their craft activities. Perhaps providing safety scissors, glue and glitter will allow some creative energies to flow.

Year Five

Once a child is five they will learn to read and write. Books become very important to school age children and they provide the opportunity to practice their new skills.

A five year old can now participate in more complex activities such as board games and computer games, more complex puzzles and experimental play such magnets and science based kits.

Girls might become more interested in their appearance and they might like to explore role play with barbies and doll houses and jewellery making kits.

There are a wonderful variety of toys to suit all children at an age, just try and choose learning toys that encourage active rather than passive participation.

Article Source:

By Chang C Lim


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