Want to know the best wooden toys for toddlers at their key development stages? You’re in the right place!
Here’s a simple guide to help understand how different toys assist with toddler development skills.
Cognitive development (sensorimotor)
Cognitive development is about how children think, explore and figure things out, using all their senses.
Shape sorters are great for developing an understanding of object permanence. As are other toys where your child can put an object into something and reveal it again.
Stacking toys help develop hand-eye coordination, problem-solving and often teach colour recognition and size sequencing.
Fine motor skills
Fine motor skills are the small, intricate movements that we make with our hands and wrists.
Chunky puzzles are brilliant for helping toddlers develop the small muscles in their hands. They learnt to grasp and move pieces with precision.
As your toddler reaches 1-1.5 years, this Nuts & Bolts set will help improve their manual dexterity, as they twist, screw and unscrew the bolts. These are also fantastic for early colour and shape recognition.
Gross motor skills
Gross motor skills are all about large body movements. The ability to use big muscles in our torso, legs and arms.
Pull and push along toys are good for improving coordination, balance and muscle development. This is one of the cutest, developed with WWF®.
Language & Communication skills
Starting first with understanding, toddlers build towards labelling familiar things and following simple instructions.
Nursery rhymes help develop an ear for language. These wooden blocks have the complete nursery rhyme and beautiful images printed and carved into them, perfect if you struggle to remember the full rhyme.
Labelling objects and animals is something we do naturally with our children. Animal figures or real images are a great prompt and can be used to play games as they grow. We use our Animal Match games with both girls for matching and have found it useful for broadening their vocabulary.
Social & Emotional skills
Social & Emotional skills are how children begin to understand who they are, what they are feeling and what to expect when interacting with others.
Mirrors are perfect for developing your toddler’s self awareness and for exploring expressions and emotions.
Labelling toddler’s emotions can help them understand what’s happening and is something to continue through their early years and beyond. We’ve stuck the large magnetic face panels out of this Emotions Magnetic Game to our fridge. Our littlest girl likes to point to them and pull the faces, then we label that emotion or expression.
Wooden Toys for Toddlers… and beyond!
Almost all of the wooden toys for toddlers that we’ve featured can continue to be used and enjoyed through your child’s development. Check out our ‘Ways to play’ on the product pages for each toy for ideas on how to use them at different stages. Or follow us on Instagram for more ideas.
* Object permanence – this is just a term for understanding that when objects can’t be seen or heard that they continue to exist. Toddlers (around the age of 8 months) start to develop object permanence. Playing things like peek-a-boo or hiding things under a blanket are simple ways to help develop this skill.