PEDI Center for Therapy

Play and Education for Development Inc provides a nuturing enviorment for pediatric speech, occupational and physical therapies.

Favorite educational toys for children 0-5

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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 fornesting cups 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)
  • counting
  • memory games (such as matching hidden cards so the child can remember where the match is) and
  • puzzles

  These are the first steps in learning that will prepare children with the skills they will need to succeed inWooden puzzle   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.

Cognitive development

The following toys will help with concepts such as colors, sizes, shapes, basic counting/number skills, matching, sequencing and problem solving: stacking rings

Stacking rings, nesting cups, shape sorters, puzzles, building blocks, construction toys, flashcards and cause/effect toys.

Next week: toys and activities for sensory integration.

All content the property of PEDI Center for Therapy. Improper use may result in legal action.


Author: Lisa Pinson

Lisa JH Pinson, MPT, is owner and president of PEDI Center. She has worked with children since 1990. She received her master’s degree in physical therapy in 1996 and opened her clinic in 2007.

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