Nurture, Grow and Succeed: A Guide to the Best Toys for Child Development

We all want to see our children succeed in a changing world, and grow up happy and healthy. Your child is at their most receptive to change in environment in his or her first few years. Becoming a fully developed human being starts early, so nurturing and encouraging your child begins early.

With the help of simple toys to encourage learning through spatial development, visual cognition and empathy skills, your little one will be well on their way to being a compassionate, intelligent individual.

Look for the following best toys for child development to help with their growing minds, and watch them grow alert and articulate before your eyes. Here are just a few toys on the market to help them at every stage of early childhood development:

Vulli Sophie La Girafe

Meet your baby’s new best friend, the beloved Sophie the Giraffe from Vulli, a friendly teething toy and so much more. Her dark and light spots, friendly face, and natural rubber smell have been a classic early development toy and a favorite of parents and children alike.

With a series of board books from DK that compliment Sophie’s character, from First Words to Colors, help Sophie to grow with your child from their first tooth to their first day of preschool.

Pros

  • Made of all natural rubber
  • Food-based, non-toxic paint
  • Friendly, recognizable shape
  • Chewable for teething
  • Squeaking noise
  • BPA and Phthalete free
  • Soft to the touch

Cons

  • Very simple
  • Sometimes squeaking noise is affected if cleaned under water
  • Books and other supplementary materials not included

Melissa & Doug First Bead Maze

Remember this fun, colorful bead maze from your own childhood? Simple and effective, Melissa & Doug’s wooden toys hearken back to a different time. Some things never go out of style, and bead mazes are one of the most effective toys for child development.

If you’re interested in sharpening your child’s color recognition, sensory skills, and coordination, Melissa & Doug’s bead maze is hard to beat. Comprised of two blocks of wood and threaded with bendable wires, as well as suction cups to stick it to any surface, your little one will be delighted while they learn.

Pros

  • Classic toy
  • Colorful
  • Suction cups on the bottom for easy placement
  • Sharpens sensory development
  • Bendable wires
  • Well constructed and built to last

Cons

  • Appropriate for very young children only
  • Fairly small size
  • Suction cups may not stick to every surface

Webee World Interactive Educational Video Game System

For a bit more interactive of a child development toy experience, the webee world Interactive Educational Video Game System offers 50 different games for your child at every stage of development, from 1-5 years old.

A kid-friendly keyboard with four big buttons in bright colors fits over your computer, and a series of games help children fine- tune their reading, motor, memorization, math skills and more. A guide for parents is included with the system, and 100 more games are available for purchase in addition to the 50 games included with the purchase of the system.

Pros

  • Colorful, beautiful design
  • Innovative games for every age of early development
  • All content on webee platform
  • Easily accessible to parents and children
  • Holistic learning
  • Engaging for children of several ages
  • Compatible with Mac

Cons

  • Not easy to travel with
  • Must have a network connection
  • More content is available for purchase—not all included

First 100 Words by Roger Priddy

This board book is a great introduction to language learning and development. Roger Priddy’s book introduces your child to their first words with 100 beautiful, detailed photographs. Sometimes, all you need is a great book to introduce your child to their world, and Priddy’s durable board book with a soft cover is a simple, classic way to give your child the experience of language and image.

Priddy’s board books include other titles, such as First 100 Animals and Numbers, Colors, Shapes, for more beautifully photographed books that will introduce your child to image recognition, language and early conversation and memory recall.

Pros

  • Beautiful color photographs
  • Durable board material
  • Soft cover
  • Appropriate for children 1-3 years
  • Simple concept
  • Small and portable

Cons

  • Some pictures are somewhat outdated
  • Very small
  • European version can be confusing for American readers.

Yoovi Early Learning Basic Life Skills Learn To Dress Boards

There is more to learning than just science, math and reading. Fine motor skill development is one of the most important aspects of early childhood development, and these little boards are perfect for honing those skills.

With zip, snap, lace, tie, buckle, and button options, and in a variety of bright, fun colors, these boards are great for hand eye coordination and learning to dress oneself. They are lightweight, easily stored and appropriate for toddlers to early school-age children.

Help your children practice without the added pressure of actually dressing oneself. They’ll be ready to tie their shoes, button up and zip up their winter coats with these fun, functional boards.

Pros

  • Easy to hold
  • Bright colors
  • Improves fine motor skills
  • Improves hand-eye coordination
  • Great for a group—preschool classes and daycare center friendly
  • Great for a variety of age groups

Cons

  • Buttons may be difficult to work with
  • Snaps very small
  • Material very taut

These are some of the best toys for child development available, from simple and friendly like Sophie the Giraffe to more complex, computer-based development programs like webee world’s interactive keyboard and video game system.

Your child will be glad you introduced them to a world that will entertain, teach and help them to achieve their goals. With time and patience, these toys will become your tools to help nurture your child’s skills and prepare them for a lifetime of learning and achievement. You are truly your child’s first teacher: make the most of the early years to aid in their development.