We understand; sometimes it feels like you’re drowning in kid’s toys.
Maybe it’s Christmas presents from Grandma or that puzzle they had to have. Whatever it is, you’re thinking: “Can I really fit one more toy in this toybox?”
Regardless of how many toys they have, you still want what’s best for your child. That’s why developmental toys are a great compromise.
Developmental toys help your child’s mind and body. So while they’re having fun, you know that they’re exercising their brains and muscles.
We’re not here to overwhelm you with more toys. We want to help you find you the best toys for childhood development and your budget. That’s why we’ve made a list of the five best developmental toys for your child.
Keep reading to find out what toys are best for your baby or toddler.
The Best Developmental Toys for Each Age Bracket
Each stage of your child’s development is specific to their age. Babies have different needs than toddlers, for example.
We’ve given you a break down of the developmental stages, from ages 0-5. This can help you gauge what your child needs, and what toys to look for.
Babies have a crazy amount of physical development in the first year. That’s why it’s crucial for them to have toys that promote cognitive development.
Sensory toys are vital for babies. They’re working out their physical boundaries, and touching is a huge way of doing this. The more they explore through their senses, the better they’ll be with boundaries.
Playtime is also important for baby! The best developmental toys for this age teach the child “cause and effect.” They love doing repetitive actions. It helps them understand the way they can impact the world around them.
Babies also need toys that help develop their muscles. They’ll have a much harder time later on if they don’t work on their muscles now.
Toddlers aged 1-2 are still developing their physical muscles. Toys requiring fine motor skills are great for this age.
Sorting games or toys with sequencing will help them develop their mental abilities. But don’t make it too easy! Toddlers are at that age when they need problem-solving games. Even simple problems need thought, but you can help them develop these skills with games and toys.
You can also introduce them to basic vocabulary words like foods, colors, and numbers. Older toddlers also develop attention spans to watch movies or listen to books.
Children 3-5 years old get better at simple problem solving, as well as their social abilities. They’ll be more active about interacting with other kids. Children at this age enjoy toys that encourage empathy and social skills.
You can also start introducing games that have easy-to-understand rules. This will help them move beyond simple sequencing, and into more complex problem-solving.
While you’re almost out of the “accidents phase“, keep in mind that kids are still working on coordination. They’re not quite balanced yet, so find toys that help them. This website has some great toys that help balance and imagination development.
The Top 5 Best Developmental Toys
Now that we’ve reviewed what each age bracket needs, let’s take a look at the best developmental toys.
1. The Lamaze Stacking Star Seeker
Lamaze is a company known for their great baby toys. Their toys are always multi-colored, which catches baby’s attention. Each toy has different textures, which satisfies baby’s need for sensory toys.
The Stacking Star Seeker continues this trend but can transfer into a toy for older kids as well. The Star Seeker is a spaceship that your child can take apart. It separates into four pieces, so your baby can start developing sequencing skills.
This toy is best for babies 6 months and older.
2. LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table
LeapFrog is a great company that works at integrating technology and kids toys. Babies and toddlers will enjoy this musical table.
The Learn and Groove Musical Table has lots of big colorful buttons and slides. Each part plays a different song, note, or sound bite. It also teaches your baby about colors, shapes, and numbers. There’s even a French mode if you’re hoping for a bilingual kid.
This toy works well for babies six months and older, but older kids can enjoy it too. Plus you can add taller legs to the table. This will encourage your child to work those leg and back muscles so they can stand up and play.
3. Melissa and Doug Lacing Beads
Melissa and Doug create a line of children’s toys that are cute and great for development.
Their Lacing Beads are wonderful for kids ages 3 and up. You can use them to teach numbers, colors, and patterns. But the part that most kids enjoy is threading the beads to make necklaces and designs. It’s a fun toy for accessorizing, but it’s also wonderful for their motor skills.
4. Magformers 26 Piece Rainbow Set
If lacing beads aren’t your child’s thing, then they’ll still have a blast with this Magformers toy. The shapes are magnetic, so they won’t have any problem snapping them together.
They use these pieces to create 2-D or 3-D shapes. They can use the pieces to work on colors, as well as different shapes. The toy is also wonderful for working on fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. You can buy the sets in rainbow colors, neon LED sets, and other variations.
5. Primeo Toys Cubetto Coding Toy
This is, by far, the most expensive toy in this list. But it’s also a pretty nifty piece of tech that teaches your kids coding and sequencing.
The Cubetto is for older kids, three and up. They use the wooden blocks and control panel to create a program for the cute little robot.
This is a toy that older kids might enjoy too, so you’ll be getting some bang for your buck.
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