The Vital Roles Toys Play in the Development of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers

Toys are integral in a child's development from infancy to early childhood, which happens at about 3-5 years of age. They stimulate the senses, especially for babies, and encourage children to pay attention to different things. 

Play items and playing stimulate vital areas in the development and raising of a child. These include cognitive, physical, emotional, and even social development, which carry significant weight in raising a self-confident child and honing a dynamic and outstanding personality that will be valuable later in life.


Toys aren't just to serve a child's whim. 

While some may think toys are just fancy leisure objects to satiate a child's passing desire, they do much more than just soothing the babies' or toddlers' tantrums so babysitters and parents can have a break. 

The urge to play and the appetite for toys allow children to learn, feed their curiosity, and enjoy. It's a much-needed pastime not only so they can have fun but also so they can acquire knowledge and understand. People have an inherent desire to learn and to be familiar with their environment. Toys for children feed this desire. 


Integral to fulfilling developmental needs 

The role toys play in children's lives can never be overlooked. To ensure optimal child development, parents and guardians and even professionals responsible for looking after the child's development should pay close attention to the toys they provide to kids. Not all toys are created equally, and not all are appropriate, depending on the age. 

Toys have a tremendous influence on developing a child's early life experiences. They are one of the key instruments that allow kids to discover the beauty and joys in life alongside other ventures, which collectively directly impact self-esteem. 

We should dispel the notion that play items are a distraction. On the other hand, they are pivots to a child's well-rounded development in different stages. With them, children learn without conscious effort. Children can pay attention and play without being forced, making these knick-knacks effective and essential in development. 

Let's dive in with an in-depth detail in the succeeding sections. 


From birth to 1 year old 

Infants are from when the baby is born to when he reaches his first year. Throughout this period, he achieved different developmental landmarks. Among these, the most obvious – to name a few – are crawling, standing, and walking. 

Nonetheless, the period covers more than physical advancements. 


Language processing and sound recognition commence in infancy. 

Throughout infancy, babies develop their senses, so they also start to be particular with the sounds. 

Simultaneously, babies start to process language by gaining familiarity with phonemes through imitation, babbling, and making meaning out of them. They begin to recognize their name and respond when they hear it. 

Parents can ideally provide musical plush toys and mats for their babies to support and aid in their auditory development. 


Toys should promote fine motor skills in babies.

Although babies don't move too much in their first six months, small mobility movements start to arise that correspond to the progress of their fine motor skills, such as holding, reaching, and putting objects in their mouths. During this period, their primary action is limited to getting things and putting them in their mouths. 

The ideal play items to supply infants are rattles, teething playthings, squeeze, stuffed, and sensory toys. 


Toys should be in bold, bright colors. 

Because visual sensation starts to develop and vividly bright colors and patterns stimulate their vision, it's ideal that playthings are in bold, bright colors. However, they may still not fully differentiate a wide range of colors. 

Floor gyms with sounds are an excellent idea for toys that may provide a great deal of stimulation to babies. 


Toys on gross motor skills development

Beyond six months of age, infants start to develop their gross motor skills. During this period, they will begin to stand, crawl, roll over, and explore more on their arms. They wouldn't just grab toys or objects, but they may now try to shake them or even bang them to the floor when they start to sit with some help. They may also be able to turn these objects. 

Equipping them with toys and materials to encourage them to create more significant movements - such as using the Monty Toy Store's uniquely designed and safely engineered wooden baby jumper, The Rue - while challenging their cognitive functions, such as problem-solving skills, is perfectly fitting. Some of these would be puppets, wooden vehicles, and stacking rings. 

Wooden blocks with rounded corners that are soft enough for the infants' safety are another vital toy to aid in a child's development while maintaining a playful nature, as these will significantly encourage infants to build. 

Another essential play material to foster healthy child development is wooden blocks with smooth, rounded corners. They feel gentle to touch and are highly exciting to build, promoting the infant's creativity. 


From 1-3 year old

Toddlers are from 1 to 3 years old. In the first year, toddlers will become increasingly curious and explorative. Given their newly developed motor skills, they will become more engrossed in movements and playing with toys and objects that are available to them. It's the most perfect time to give them toys like the Monty Organic Cotton Play Tunnel, which is stylishly made with safe materials, such as cotton and wood. 

At this stage, they will become noticeably independent, wanting to keep moving, and may even be defiant of their guardians or parents. Moreover, they will recognize themselves in pictures and mirrors during this period. 

Physically, they will acquire motor skills. Also, large muscle groups have started to develop. Hence, they will begin to imitate others. 

Cognitively, they will start remembering names, understanding simple words, and making sense of instructions. 


Toys as learning materials

Children can play with stacking toys to quell their curiosity and challenge their newly acquired skills to keep them learning. They can have these toys at around seven months old and play with them until about two years old.

It's ideal to expose them to toys like this before they turn one year old.

While they may not play with these toys according to the toys' objective, exposure will spark their interest, encourage their inquiring mind, and challenge their problem-solving skills. 

In their first year, they would be more effective in utilizing these toys according to their objectives. 


Toys that have core functions for toddler's development

When provided with stacking toys, children would be able to stack rings onto the peg. They will also start independence in nesting objects and solving puzzles by being able to recognize shapes throughout their toddler years. As toddlers' brains develop, they begin to recognize shapes and be able to identify similar ones. 

Stacking, push-and-pull, and nesting toys are highly beneficial as these would allow toddlers to exercise and hone their hand-coordination skills. It also provides for other cognitive activities or processes, such as order, cause and effect, and familiarity with sizes and shapes. 

Puzzles with a few pieces are a great way to activate and spur their cognitive functions as well. 


In the latter part of toddlerhood, 

Between 2 and 3 years of age, toddlers will continue to advance their skills and have a better understanding of words. They will be more able to follow instructions, albeit only with simple steps, accurately put things in order, and recognize them. 

As they advance, they will show an inclination to experience their real-life observations. Hence, they may engage in role-play and show interest in playing with real-life objects, like kitchenwares, doll houses, and telephones. 

They will show a keen curiosity in involving themselves in reality. Hence, it's a great way to provide them with toys to feed their interests.

Kids at this age will be very active, so they need toys to keep up with their energy. It's great to provide them with bicycles and toys that may allow them to ride. 


From 3-5 years old

Preschoolers will dramatically advance their learning ability, especially in their language and imagination skills. They will ask a lot and play by imagining themselves as what they like to be and acting on it, such as being a firefighter or a doctor. 

They will already have a grasp of what these professions do. They will experiment a lot as their physical skills continue to grow and emerge.  


Provide preschoolers with material that doubles as study aids

Because of these advancements, providing them with suitable materials will make their surroundings conducive for optimal development. It would be great to offer them puzzles with more than ten pieces that they can sort or arrange depending on different properties, such as length, width, shape, and color, to name a few. 

Children at this age will show a greater desire to create. Books are perfect, and writing materials such as colors can benefit them. It's no longer only toys that will prove beneficial, but other materials, such as those that help them prepare for formal schooling. 


Monty Toys - A Revolution in Child's Play

As parents, we naturally seek the best for our little ones. We understand, consciously or intuitively, that the first 5 years of our child's life will shape the structure of their brain for the rest of their life.

Monty Toys isn't just another toy store.

Our toys are a testament to the importance of our children's early years.

Monty Toys are designed and curated by our child developmental experts to nurture your child's innate curiosity, fostering independence, critical thinking, and respect for oneself, others, and their surroundings.

By providing strategic toys and materials tailored to your child's developmental stage, we allow children and parents to become active agents in their own education and development.

Every product from Monty Toys comes with a tailored 1-page informational document, ensuring parents grasp the educational essence and purpose of each toy. This guide illuminates the science behind the toy's design and offers insights into enhancing a child's learning experience.

It's not just about play; it's about informed, developmental engagement for both child and parent.

Join us in Learning through Play!


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