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How to Use Learning Toys to Develop Your Toddler

The right learning toys will help your toddler develop their natural skills, as well as the areas they are more challenged or have little interest.

Since they were a baby, your toddler generally prefers to use one of their senses - sight, hearing, motion - to learn.

By identifying your toddler’s favored learning style, you’ll know:

  • skills your toddler find easy and natural
  • areas where they are more challenged or have little interest
  • optimum way of presenting skills to be learned

How do you tell which sense is dominant for your toddler? Generally:

  • A toddler who is a visual learner has great fine motor skills and loves toys which use their hands.
  • A toddler who is a hearing learner tends to have excellent language skills with a large vocabulary.
  • A toddler who is a kinesthetic learner loves to climb and run and prefers outdoor toys or toys that accompany movement.

Developing your toddler’s visual learning skills

Visual toddlers love to use their hands. So they find drawing, coloring, writing, painting, modeling, building and puzzles easy and fun.

Children who are not skilled visually may have trouble with fine motor work including writing, using tools such as scissors and cutlery.

Learning toys to develop toddler’s visual learning skills

  • Blocks:
    Haba Clown Blocks
    Haba Basic Building Blocks Extra Large Starter Set

  • Computer games:
    Reader Rabbit Toddler
    V Smile Baby

  • Crayons, markers, paint:
    Beeswax Block Crayons
    Crayola TaDoodles Washable Easy Stampers
    Crayola Floating Art Desk

  • Modeling clay:
    Alex Cotton Clay-Tivity Kit with 6 Colors of Clay

  • Puzzles:
    Infantino When I Grow Up Alphabet Puzzle
    Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Magnetic Cookie Puzzle,

  • Science toys:
    Moon in My Room
    Beleduc Your Body Puzzle

  • Shape sorting:
    Alphablock Sorter
    Tolo Rolling Shape Sorter

  • Stacking toys:
    Manhattan Toy NooBoo Symphonic Stacker
    Lauri Toys Smart Shapes and Stacking Pegs

  • Toys which encourage hand movement:
    Skwish Classic

  • Building:
    MEGA Bloks Building Imagination Bag
    Geomag G Baby Small

Whilst playing with visual stimulating learning toys with a child who prefers listening, talk to them about what you are seeing. Use sound to keep them interested.

Whilst playing with visual stimulating learning toys with a child who prefers movement, try to involve physical activity and touch.

Develop your toddler’s auditory skills

These toddlers love to listen and talk. They often have large vocabularies and are very social.

Learning toys to develop toddler’s auditory learning skills

  • Child’s dictionary

  • Games which involve sound recognition

  • Music and song CDs

  • Read aloud, tell each other stories

  • Reading computer games:
    Reader Rabbit Toddler
    LeapFrog Phonics Radio

  • Toy microphone:
    Sing-Along Mike
    Fisher-Price Little Superstar Sing-Along Stage

  • Toy musical instrument:
    Shake, Rattle & Drum
    Glockentoddler Toy Instrument
    Earlyears Lock ’n Rock Linking Shakers

  • Toys with sounds:
    Hide and Squeak Egg Sorting Fun

Whilst giving auditory stimulation to a child who prefers seeing, give them something to watch.

Whilst giving auditory stimulation to a child who prefers movement, try to talk with your child whilst doing a physical activity together.

Developing toddler’s kinesthetic learning skills

These toddlers love to run, jump and ride. They have great balance and coordination and excellent gross muscle skills.

As we tend to enjoy what we are good at, and avoid what we are not, all children need to develop movement skills. These skills are very helpful in the playground and are necessary for a healthy life.

Learning toys to develop toddler’s kinesthetic learning skills

  • Balance boards:
    Alex Monkey Balance Board

  • Balls and frisbees:
    HABA Rolling Turtles

  • Bowling:
    Earlyears Baby Farm Friends Bowling
    Infantino Penguin Bowling

  • Bucket and spade

  • Gardening

  • Outdoor play:
    Little Tikes EasyScore Basketball Set

  • Outdoor trucks and cars:
    MEGA Bloks Fill & Dump Wagon
    Ride-On Excavator

  • Props for pretend play:
    Green Toys Tea Set
    Animal Hospital
    Shopping Cart

  • Pull-alongs:
    Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Frolicking Frog Pull Toy
    Max, Pull Along Dog

  • Ride-ons and pedal cars:
    Kettler Kettrike Junior Tricycle
    Radio Flyer Retro Rocket
    Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug

  • Running and tag games

  • Sidewalk chalk

  • Swimming

  • Swings:
    MGA Little Tikes Cozy Swing
    Little Tikes High Back Toddler Swing

  • Toys that combine movement and fine motor skills:
    Mega Bloks Build ’n Race Bag
    Playskool Busy Ball-Tivity Center
    Haba Ball Track Construction Set
    Design and Drill Activity Center

  • Toys which encourage movement:
    Fisher-Price Look a Rounds
    Walker Wagon with Blocks
    Baby’s First Train - Lokmock Train and Building Blocks
    Manhattan Toy Automoblox

  • Water toys:
    Floating Blocks
    Step 2 WaterWheel Activity Play Table

Whilst giving kinesthetic stimulation to a child who prefers seeing use toys that use their visual skills whilst encouraging movement such as balls, treasure hunts, hide and seek.

Whilst giving Kinesthetic stimulation to a child who prefers listening use toys and activities that incorporate sound with movement such as singing or taking about an activity whilst you do it..

More toddler learning toys.


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