Cognitive development plays an essential role in your child’s growth, especially within the first 5 years of life. As your child continues to grow, they learn how to interact with others, gain confidence, problem solve, process information, build their memory, and so much more. How do children learn these skills in the early stages of life? … through play!
Toys are not only fun for children but they’re also necessary for a child’s development. There are TONS of toys available that help stimulate the brain, being very beneficial for cognitive growth. We took the work out for you and a made a list of toy ideas that contribute to cognitive development.
1. Building blocks are not only a fun activity for children, but it also supports cognitive development. Children learn about creativity. They start to experience cause and effect. What happens when you continue to build the blocks up? What happens when you knock a tower down? Adding blocks makes the tower taller while removing a block makes it shorter. Mathematics, problem solving, and imagination all come to use when playing with blocks!
2. Touch and feel books are a great toy to introduce to your child. These books build interaction and also helps with fine motor skills. It’ll help your child associate the picture with the texture. For example, a dog is “soft” and an egg is “smooth”. Saying these adjectives out loud while they feel the textures will help your child build their vocabulary!
3. Shape puzzle boards are a fun way to help with cognitive development and it teaches children skills through trial and error. The red triangle doesn’t fit in the blue circle- they must not match! Depending on the type of puzzle you have, they will learn shapes, colors, sizes, animals, etc.. Introducing simple puzzle boards early on will set them up for success in the future.
4. Push and pull toys are great for developing new cognitive skills! Your child will learn that in order to get the toy closer, they need to pull the string towards them. Once your child starts walking, they will learn to pull the toy behind them. What happens when the string gets caught behind a chair? Problem solving comes into play. What happens when you stop walking with your push and pull toy? The toy stops too. They will start to learn that they are in control of where the toy goes.
5. Puppets are a fun idea for cognitive development! Children will learn to communicate, express emotions, engage, and use their imagination while playing with puppets. Let your child run wild with creating a storyline. Their memory will get better as they retell their story with the puppets.
As you can see, play time is very important for children. Each stage in a child’s life brings opportunity for growth. Next time you purchase a toy, consider looking for ones that stimulate cognitive development!