Developmental Toys - Educational Toys

You Are His First Toy

In order for children to develop normally through the various stages of growth, they need to be stimulated. Initially the most important stimulation comes from the intimate relationship of an infant with his mother. Her touch, the sound of her voice, and the tender play are all vitally important to proper and healthy development. After a short time, infant developmental toys are usually introduced. These baby toys are designed to help develop mental and physical skills like hand-eye coordination and, in early stage, to train vision.  Fortunately, there are plenty of places on the internet where you can find great baby toys at super prices.  Having sufficient toys to stimulate your child is important.

Discovery Toys

Discovery Toys, a company that produces educational toys and developmental toys for children, have a wide range of toys for all age groups that have educational components to them designed to stimulate children and help develop skills. These long-lasting, sturdy learning toys are great gifts and excellent products. The Discovery Toys Safari Land Sensory Playmat can be used as soon as baby is born, stimulating vision while the baby lies on it on the floor. It is an activity gym that grows with the baby and has teething toys, musical components, lots of animal friends, and enough activities to keep a busy toddler entertained for hours. The Playmat grows with your baby, from newborn through toddler stage.

Don't Toss Those Blocks

Some of the very best developmental toys are things that have been around for a long time. Although the tendency of human nature is to think that what comes in the future is far better than what was in the past, the truth of the matter is that there are some things that are truly foundational - and important. The developmental toys we are talking about are blocks. Blocks, along with balls and stacking cups, are the best toys to teach math skills. Now, that doesn't mean that your infant is going to be able to figure out a math problem, but he or she will develop the skills necessary to take those problems on when the time comes.

According to Sharon MacDonald, a trainer of early-childhood teachers and author of Block Play (Gryphon House), "When your child works with blocks, he develops an understanding of fractions, shapes, and counting." She goes on to talk about the three stages of block play, the first of which is "tote and carry." Quite simply, your 2-year-old isn't going to be building much, but he or she will pile, haul, and drop blocks (mostly on her siblings buildings) and in the doing will learn about weight, stability, and balance. The act of stacking one thing on top of another and then watching it fall teaches that unstable things can't stay up for long.

The Learning Progresses

When she becomes three, she'll figure out the concepts of "stack and row." She's going to stack one block on top of another or line them up in rows. There are no building plans, per se, but she'll be creating patterns with the blocks. Math is, in effect, the study of patterns, so the foundations for math skills are being internalized. This segment of the learning process helps the child understand fractions. Who would have thought it?

By the time your child has reached preschool age simple structures are part of the building process. This is called "bridging." Balance and symmetry come into play as enclosures are built and space organized. As the question of how many blocks are needed to fill a hole is answered, the child learns the concept of planning as well as problem solving.

Using Developmental Toys in Special Needs Situations

All of the toys used as developmental toys for children who are growing normally are also appropriate as special needs toys. The difference lies in the way the toys are used as well as the types of toys used with the different special needs. As with all children, the best way to foster and improve skills is through play. For instance, a child who is autistic does not need toys that make noise and move on their own. The music is abstract to an autistic child. These kids need quiet toys that require hand-eye focus. Deaf children need toys that have high visual content.

Toys are far more than a distraction to keep little ones busy while mom is doing whatever she needs to do. Toys are a great and influential part of a child's development. By choosing developmental toys that are geared toward learning and that are age appropriate, you can help your child become all he or she can be.

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