One reason I write this blog for PEDI Center is that in addition to social media, I also am a developmental special instructor for Arizona’s Early Intervention Program. As a DSI, I work with children in their homes providing resources and ideas for tools and activities to improve a child’s development. The areas of development include fine-motor skills, physical movement, speech, cognitive and social development. Parents and caregivers frequently ask about what toys will help their child in the family’s area of concern.
Here are some ideas for activities and examples of toys that will encourage a child’s cognitive development and problem-solving skills. This doesn’t mean we endorse one particular brand or product over another one. These are examples of toys so parents and caregivers have a better idea about what is appropriate for their child at any given stage of development.
Cognitive skills learned and developed during early childhood have life-long benefits and are the first steps in successful problem solving in adulthood. Some activities that encourage this are:
- sorting by colors or shapes
- sequencing (For example, if the beads are red, blue, yellow, red, blue then have the child determine which color bead goes next)
- memory games (such as matching hidden cards so the child can remember where the match is) and
These are the first steps in learning that will prepare children with the skills they will need to succeed in school and eventually in solving problems in life. For example, and adult might ask this question: “Now where I can store this ladder in my garage and still have room for the car?” An adult who played with shape sorters and building blocks as a toddler likely will have a better understanding of spatial relationships and likely quickly decide the right place for the ladder.
Focusing on these types of activities and toys similar to those listed below will help your child begin on a path to success.
Stacking rings, nesting cups, shape sorters, puzzles, building blocks, construction toys, flashcards and cause/effect toys.
Next week: toys and activities for sensory integration.
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- Learning Toys And Stuffs by Fisher Price (toystorefisherprice.wordpress.com)
- Who Knows Toys Better Than Kids? (melissaanddoug.com)
- Is My Child Normal – Cognitive, Motor & Socio-Emotional Development (everydayfamily.com)