Use the right toys at the right time to help your little one develop

We know that children develop through play but it’s not always easy to know how to support them. brightplaybox encourages your child’s development by delivering the right toys, books and sensory activities at the right time.  

The first few years are the most important period for your baby’s brain development. During this time your little one will learn how to think, communicate, work through problems and build relationships. By age 3 your child’s brain will have reached 80% of its adult volume. The first messages that the brain receives therefore have a huge impact on development.   

When it comes to play it’s important that your little one has the right level of challenge.  Succeeding at challenges builds brain power, increases motivation to learn and teaches important life-skills. If you give your little one a toy that is too simple they will get bored and if you give one that is too complex they will get frustrated.

The First Year
Your baby is born not only with the ability to recognise human faces but also to understand different expressions.  Whilst your baby is born only able to see high contrast colours around 20cm in front of them, by the end of this year they can distinguish all colours. They can even accurately reach out and touch what they want to as their hand-eye coordination improves.  Their movement and control over their body hugely improves, as they go from not being able to support their own head to moving about by the end of their first year. 

Great toys for the first year
- Use a high contrast black & white book to stimulate baby’s vision – use from birth.
- Stimulate their senses by introducing them to new textures, sensations & noises – from birth.
- An o-ball will help baby’s grasping & hand-eye coordination– use from 3 months.
- A toy on wheels will encourage baby to crawl – use from 8 months.
 

The Second Year
One of the biggest developments in the 2nd year will be your toddler’s language – their vocabulary will increase about 4 times this year and this is reflected in significant activity in this area of their brain.

The other big development is that your ‘baby’ now understands that they are their own person and so begins their journey of self-awareness along with greater expression of their own opinions and emotions.  It’s the beginning of a challenging time for them where they want to do far more than they are able to. 

They are now better able to understand the world around them and start to understand cause & effect and how to manipulate objects to get the outcome they want. They’ll also make huge strides in their movement (literally) and you’ll see your little one walk, run, jump and begin to throw and kick a ball. 
 

Great toys for the second year
- Use a shape sorter to help problem solving – from around 14 months.
-Building blocks will help baby work on their decision making & understand cause & effect as they start to learn how to build– from around 14 months.
- Toys that allow tot’s to use their creativity during imaginative play – introduce from around 16 months.