A guide for toys and the development of babies and children

Tips and recommendations for selecting toys based on the age of babies and infants

"What is important when selecting children's toys?
Suitable toys are very important for the development of every child because the majority of their cognitive, social, and motor development takes place during play. With lots of fun and many new impressions, our descendants learn to discover the world around them and comprehend the unknown. Everything that children see, hear, touch, and hold, they learn for good.

In addition, playing supports their natural desire and motivation to learn, and therefore their curiosity, too. All of these components are important building blocks for their acquisition of educational skills in school which are built on top of these first components.

In the following sections, we will explain which development stages children go through and which toys are particularly important at which ages in order to support you with the purchase of toys. Of course, despite this advice, the selection of a toy depends on the individual child in question. A parent's feeling of whether or not a toy is suitable for their child or not is just as important and worthy of consideration

Baby toys for ages 0 months and up for their first collection

Toys for babies' first collection from birth onwards

What should you bear in mind when buying a baby's first set of toys?

We're giving tips to support parents, relatives, friends, and acquaintances during the search for the right toys for babies.

When choosing toys for newborns, it's important to consider the baby's motor and cognitive development. After being born, newborns lack the physical, cognitive, and visual skills necessary for playing with toys. Their sense of sight develops later on, and is typically around 20% at the age of 3 months. A baby's ability to hear is pronounced at birth, though they react very sensitively to ambient noises.

Newborns can execute uncontrolled and abrupt motions, but they can still touch, grip, hold, squeeze, and shake baby toys. They explore toys a bit with their mouth and hands. Newborns can perceive soft sounds and noises and move their heads in that direction in this phase of development.

After they're born, babies need a feeling of security and safety in the absence of their parents. They can remember certain objects at this stage, and play mats and plush animals can give them that necessary sense of familiarity. Babies can recognise particularly bright colours on toys, so that draws their attention.

It this early phase, a newborn needs toys…

  • For gripping, squeezing, and touching
  • To listen to and bit into
  • To watch, stare at, and cuddle with

For gripping, pressing and feeling

To grasp, press and feel

To look at and marvel


After the birth of my first baby, I placed a lot of value on sustainable materials. The wooden Balls of Fun Rattle unites two things: sustainable material and a child-friendly baby toy. The noises that the rattle makes really made my baby grin and laugh. I especially like the fact that the rattle fit in the hand well and is saliva-proof. In their first months, babies really like putting toys in their mouths and experiencing them with all their senses.

Toys for infants aged 1 year and up

Recommendations for toys for the development for ages 1 year and up

Which toys are suitable for 1-year-olds?

We provide assistance to support you with your choice of toys for children aged 1 year and up. When selecting toys, it's important to educate yourself on the development phase of infants aged 1 year and up.

The toys of children aged 1 year and up often end up in their mouths. Toys are still explored with all senses. They enjoy listening to repeating melodies, which have a calming effect on the 1-year-olds, who in turn are starting to be able to recognise melodies. They usually try to start singing at the age of 14 months. They're not quite ready for complete sentences yet, but single words do become a way for them to communicate. Despite their lack of dexterity, children aged 1 year and up slowly begin to perceive shapes and sizes. Toys such as shape-fitting games can support this stage of development-

Children's first attempts at walking usually begin around the age of 16 months at which point maintaining balance is still a challenge. Baby walkers can help them overcome this challenge of their first walking attempts. At approximately 20 months, they are usually able to gradually hold toys in their hands while walking at the same time. Their comprehension of how to separate parts and put them back together increases. Toys such as building blocks can help train their understanding of the principles of cause and effect. They also develop an understanding of caring for their toys, which may also include not wanting to share them. Their social competencies have only been developed slightly at this point.

In this stage of development, children aged 1 year and up need toys…

  • For learning how to walk
  • To push, pull, and roll around
  • To stack, build, and hammer
  • To turn pages and look at


The Wooden Building Blocks Large Rainbow never gets boring thanks to the bright colours. The illuminating colour world really drew my son in closely. And our youngest child wasn't the only one who thought the Rainbow from small foot was great - as Mom, I found the rainbow to be very decorative in the nursery. It doesn't just look good; it also helps improve motor skills. Dexterity and hand-eye coordination are also trained while stacking the pieces. In addition, it trains comprehension of different sizes and colours. Whether stacking together or taking the pieces apart, the Rainbow can be explored in many different ways by the youngest kids. Thanks to the robustness of the wood, the Rainbow won't suffer hardly any damage if it falls on the floor.

Toys for two-year-olds

Children's toys for the development for ages 2 years and up

Which toys are suitable for 2-year-olds?

We provide assistance to support you with your choice of toys for children aged 2 years and up.

Compared to their first months, young children's gross and fine motor skills begin to increase more and more at this stage. It's easier for them to recognise an interaction of their motor skills and cognitive skills. That being said, their vision skills and hand-eye coordination are still developing, but activities such as throwing and catching become easier. Two-year-olds still like playing by themselves, but start developing a strong interest in social activities. Nevertheless, it's still difficult for children aged 2 years and up to focus their attention on one activity longer.

Children's comprehension of sizes, shapes, and colours continues to increase, and they're able to put together simple puzzles. Children's toys for two-year-olds don't have to be extremely detailed because they're not quite able to differentiate between finer details yet. Simple shapes with fewer details are the better choice for this age. They can also now ride on balance bikes that they can slow down with their feet. They can learn to use pedals on a step-by-step basis. In addition, 2-year-olds learn by imitating and repeating actions. They like imitating Mum and Dad the most.

In this stage of development, children aged 2 years and up need toys…

  • Which move them forward and around
  • For puzzle-like activities
  • For swinging
  • To push, pull, and roll around
  • To stack, build, and hammer

To push, pull, and roll around

For rocking


A balance bike is usually too big for 2-year-olds. Keeping their balance while steering in a certain direction is still pretty difficult for them. For beginner riders like Niels, the small foot Training Tricycle 2-in-1 Maxi Pink was a great opportunity to start. The highlight of the Balance Trike is that it can be ridden with three wheels, and can be transformed into a regular balance bike later when the kids are older. In addition, the Trike offers handlebars with a turn radius restrictor which adds to its safety. The height-adjustable seat and the adjustable distance from the handlebars allows the Trike to be custom-fit to the size of each individual child. Niels particularly liked that she could put her favourite plush animal in the little basket for every ride.

Toys for three-year-olds

Tips for choosing toys for ages 3 years and up

What should I keep in mind when it comes to toys for 3-year-olds?

Toddler's development progress very greatly depending on their age, so we're giving you some tips for selecting toys for them.

At the age of 3, children are becoming more and more interested in playing, and their social interaction with other children is increasing. They can't quite understand set rules yet, but their attention spans are getting longer. Singing, dancing, and playing with musical instruments brings them a lot of joy in particular. Their imaginations are getting stronger, and they are able to create their own stories. They also enjoy repeating what's been said, even if they don't understand exactly what it means. They are better able to remember events.

Their sense of balance improves, and they become more and more confident while walking, running, hopping, and jumping. Toys with lower complexity and simple patterns and colours appeal to them. They also like toys for sand and water activities a lot, which means that toys such as buckets, little shovels and shape cutouts for the sandbox are great gift ideas.

In this stage of development, children aged 3 years and up need toys…

  • For imitating adults
  • For active playtime
  • For musical play
  • For learning numbers and letters

To the active game

To the musical game


I like to shatter clichés while raising a child. So why not get a toolbox for a girl? The "classic" girl's and boy's toys are history. That's why I found the small foot Nordic Toolbox to be a great gift for Nilay-Su's third birthday. It even has pink screws, which I loved. I was particularly impressed with the well-thought-out design of the Nordic Toolbox. And that's not all: the bits for the toy screwdriver could also be swapped out thanks to the magnets inside. Changing the drill bits also trains motor skills! And on top of all that, the Toolbox with its Scandinavian design is a great eye-catcher in the nursery - and that makes not only the kids happy, but Mum too!

Toys for four-year-olds

Sensible toys for ages 4 years and up

Which toys are suitable for 4-year-olds?

When choosing toys for 4-year-olds, you want to select toys which will not overwhelm them, but will also not underwhelm them either. At four years old, children's cognitive and fine motor skills are already rather advanced. To that end, we've got some recommendations that should support you in your choice of toys.

Coordination is getting easier for children aged 4 years and up. Their dexterity is increasing, and activities such as crafting in which they can let their imaginations run free are loads of fun for them. Their sense of balance has now improved to the point at which they can balance other objects.

Their comprehension of numbers, letters, and time-oriented expressions such as "yesterday", "today", or "tomorrow" is increasing. In this age, kids are starting to improve their independence, and things such as brushing their teeth, washing their hands, and getting dressed work fairly well at this point. Their attention span sits at around 20 minutes, but their ability to understand complex rules is still difficult for them. Their interest in playing with other children continues to increase. They form close friendships.

Four-year-olds love role-playing in a group. Imitating adults and creating their own play worlds promotes the development of their imagination, and they also like singing with others in that they're starting to pay attention to others' singing in order to sing songs in the same rhythm as others. Four-year-olds are also developing their own sense of humour more and more.

In this stage of development, children aged 4 years and up need toys…

  • For imitating adults
  • For social play
  • To learn numbers and letters
  • For active play
  • For musical play

For social play

To the active game

To the musical game


Time, days, months, and seasons are easy for grown-ups to understand, but how do I explain these concepts to my four-year-old daughter? In order to help her understand times and calendar dates, I gave Leo the Educate Learning Board from small foot. With it, I was able to support Leo's learning of how those things are interconnected. I especially liked the fact that the Learning Board "Educate" is both a clock and a calendar in one! With the learning clock, kids can learn both the 12-hour and the 24-hour time systems as well as weather, days of the week, months, and seasons. All the while, setting the clock hands and the little gears and wheels trains motor skills. When the children are older and start to learn English, this Learning Board can be brought out again! Thanks to the stickers in 15 different languages, the learning clock can be used in English! Another thing I found to be a big plus was the fact that the clock is made of FSC®-certified wood.

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