Former first grade teacher Jenae, shared this great chart, from her blog I Can Teach My Child, of her 7 areas of development for early childhood. We love this because as a toy company that takes play very serious these are some of the areas that toys can help develop. We thought along with a defenition of each, we would give you a few suggestions on products that may help in the development of each skill.
Gross motor: This involves learning to use all of the “big” muscles in our body. Crawling, walking, running, skipping, jumping, and climbing are all examples of gross motor activity.
Sensory Ball Mega Pack
KidsPlay 6 Player Rhythm Kit
Fine motor: Fine motor activities teach hand-eye coordination. These activities require a child to learn to precisely control the muscles in the hands. Things like coloring, writing, cutting with scissors, using tweezers, tearing paper, etc. all help build fine motor skills.
Smartmax Magnetic Building Set
Language: This domain includes alphabetics, phonemic awareness, oral, and written language. Even though your little one won’t be able to read for several years, you can (and most definitely should) read to her. Talking about things throughout the day (even when it feels silly) is especially important as well. Learning the ABC’s (as well as the sounds each letter makes) is another example of a language activity.
Alphabet Sound Puzzle
Cognitive: This includes cause-and-effect, reasoning, as well as early-math skills. Believe it or not, a baby who continually drops a spoon from his high-chair is exercising his cognitive ability. He learns that when he drops it, you will pick it up (cause-and-effect). Counting and patterning are also included in this domain for preschoolers.
Switch and Spin Magnetic Gear Board
Music Discovery Set - Shake, Rattle, and Roll
Social/Emotional: Your child is a social being! Learning to “play” (especially with others) is a skill. “Teaching” in this domain also involves making sure a child feels safe and nurtured. Manners and using kind words might also be examples included in this domain.
Make Your Own Monster Puppet
Self-Help/Adaptive: Activities in this domain include learning to dress oneself, , feed oneself, using the toilet, brushing teeth, bathing, tying shoes, etc. Everything that a child needs to know to start being more independent could be included in this domain.
Basic Skills Board
Constructive Eating Utensils
Learn to Dress Monkey
Spiritual & Moral: Teaching that your child is a part of a bigger world with lots of different views and beliefs. This may very from family to family, but it is vital to begin teaching your children right from wrong.
And Then...Story Starters
Hands Are Not For Hurting