Toys for development


Children playing with construction blocksWhat toys can I buy my child to help with development? 

As every parent knows all too well, there are many, many toys out there for sale. It's worth choosing toys carefully rather than buying large quantities and not just because of the financial cost. If children have too many toys they tend not to settle down with anything in particular, and as your child grows their play will change. 

From a developmental point of view, it is best to choose toys that will give your child a range of skills. To make this easier, play is often divided into different types. Each play type will help your child in different ways.


Look out for toys that will help your child to move and become more coordinated. Favourites include balls, skittles, bats and wheeled toys such as tricycles and sit-and-rides.


These are toys that help children build things or put things together. This can be the classic train sets, as well as bricks and jigsaw puzzles.

Creative and sensory

These are toys and materials that will let your child explore and use their hands. They might include sand, water and dough and mark-making materials, such as paint and crayons.


These are toys that will help your child to dress up or play with small characters. Favourites include dressing-up clothes, dolls and cuddly toys, as well as small sets of animals, dinosaurs and farm animals. 


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Last updated: over 3 years ago