Milestones of Childhood Development

Support the development progress of your children with the right toys

Which milestones are reached in babies' and infants' development?
When growing from a baby to an infant, children go through several development steps. Seeing, hearing, speaking, cognitive and social skills are competencies that babies and infants have to learn next. Toys can support the development of these skills and the achievement of the milestones of childhood development. In the following sections, we'll explore the skills of a baby and infant and give recommendations on how toys can playfully promote children's development.

Motor Activities

Which toys can support the movement skills of babies and infants?

How can babies' and infants' motor skills be trained?

How can babies' and infants' motor skills be trained?

Crawling, grasping, walking, smiling, hopping - All of these movement sequences are part of a child's motor skills. That said, there is a difference between gross and fine motor skills. In a nutshell, gross motor skills are comprised of the movement of the entire body, as with walking (for example), and fine motor skills include hand-eye coordination as well as facial expressions.

After the birth: Grip toys, baby rattles, and plush toys promote the development of fine motor skills

Shortly after birth, babies have barely any fine motor skills. Their movements are still largely uncontrolled and abrupt. Since babies' vision in the time after birth isn't quite fully developed yet, they can't recognise objects for what they are. For this reason, babies won't reach out and grasp for their toys intentionally. They see objects as blurred and unclear. This is why grasping is an important part of a child's motoric development. In order to promote this grasping of objects, toys in bright colours with noise and crinkling functions are ideal for animating them to grasp. Driven by curiosity, they start to explore their first toy with their hands and train their motor skills.

Train fine motor skills with grippers, baby rattles and fabric toys

Inserting, stacking, sorting & Co. - Promoting the development of fine motor skills with toys

Comprehension of shapes, sizes, and colours first develops step by step. Children have the task of learning to tell the differences between them. Circles, rectangles, and triangles - how do the shapes differ, and which shape fits in which hole? Toys such as shape-fitting games, stacking games, hammering games, balancing games, and games of skill support children in their discover of the world of shapes and trains their fine motor skills in a playful manner. In addition, stacking toys trains dexterity and hand-eye coordination. The young one's patience will also be put to the test simultaneously.

Learning to walk: An important milestone for infants and the development of their gross motor skills

First and foremost: each child has their own individual speed when it comes to the age at which they start to try to walk. Balance and muscle strength must first be present to be able to walk independently. The first attempts at walking start between the 14th and 16th month. Since keeping their balance is still a challenge, baby walkers support children in their mastery of those first steps. Beyond that, a baby walker encourages them to play and discover. Whether as storage space for stuffed animals or insertable elements that promote the development of motor skills - baby walkers are the companions in ages 1 year and up and essential motor activity toys.

The next step: Learning to ride a bicycle with balance bikes and trikes

Before children can independently work the pedals, regular training is required. Balance bikes and trikes are the perfect preparation for riding a bicycle. In addition to promoting the development of early childhood motor skills, they also help develop coordination and balance. Balance bikes also motivate kids to exercise and playfully train their physical endurance while also teaching them the rules of traffic safety. It doesn't matter whether they're starting at 12 months or 36 months - balance bikes and trikes are suitable for different age groups. For young children aged 12 months and up, a three-wheeled trike is recommended. It can then be transformed into a classic balance bike when the child's learning progress and balance allow it.

Hearing Ability

When can babies start to hear, and how can their hearing abilities be trained?

Mum's heartbeat: A sound that babies hear as early as in the womb

Toys with noise functions promote the development of acoustic perception

When the sounds of music boxes are playing, Dreamland is not far away. Young children listen to these noises through which their hearing abilities are trained. At the same time, the gentle sounds and melodies have a calming effect. In addition, toys such as rattles or plush toys with noise functions allow the discovery of sounds. Children begin to independently create their own noises when pressing, shaking, crinkling, or rattling, and in doing so, they train their acoustic perception. Altogether, a newborn's curiosity for sounds and noises is huge.

Train hearing abilities with music boxes, rattles, and plush toys

Train your hearing with music boxes, rattles and fabric toys

Train babies' and infants' hearing abilities by reading to them aloud

Regardless what age children are, reading stories to them aloud promotes the development of their childhood development in many ways. In addition to developing their speech and vision skills, this especially trains their hearing abilities. Babies will listen curiously to their parents' voices, and infants will make connections between the pictures and words while their speech is trained at the same time. Infants also will learn to actively listen and concentrate on the story, which has a positive effect on their concentration skills.

Tell stories and train your child's hearing abilities with wooden books

Tell stories with wooden books and promote your child's hearing

Musical instruments - Fun and training for acoustic perception

Children love music! Regardless of age, they enjoy melodies and sounds. If the children are older and want to show off their own musical talents, wooden musical instruments are well-suited for experimenting with music and exploring sounds independently. In addition to promoting the development of children's hearing abilities, it also trains their sense of rhythm. Whether alone or in a group, making music with sound toys helps develop acoustic perception while bringing kids lots of joy. Making music together also promotes the development of social skills.

Train hearing abilities with drums, guitars, claves, & more

Train your hearing with drums, guitar, bars & Co.

Vision Abilities

When can babies start to be able to see, and how can their vision abilities be trained?

How babies' vision can be trained with mobiles When are babies able to see?

This is a question that many parents ask. At the start, a newborn only sees things as blurred and very unclear. Their vision ability is at around 20%. Babies first start to perceive general colour differences between month 2 and month 3. Babies can see luminous, strong colours in particular more clearly, which is why they're magically drawn in by toys with bright colours. For this reason, mobiles in bright colours with moving figures and elements are classic baby toys that promote the development of visual perception. They're popular gifts for newborns, and they're also a lovely eye-catcher in the nursery. Between the ages of 6 months and 8 months, babies will start to perceive things visually like adults do.

Train visual perception with mobiles

Training visual perception with mobiles

How page-turning through picture books develops the optic nerve

Shortly before their 1st birthday, babies are able to turn thicker pages by themselves. While sitting on Mum's or Dad's lap, wooden books can be independently explored with all senses. This especially trains children's visual abilities since wooden books draw their attention with their intense colours. Their visual perception is trained and the development of their optic nerve is furthered.

Wooden books for developing visual abilities

Wooden books for the promotion of vision


Which toys can support children's speech development?

How speech develops in babies and infants

First, babies' communication is characterised by body language, facial expressions, sounds such as laughing, crying, and their first baby gabble. Parents have a feeling for what their child wants to "tell" them. Only after some time do children begin to speak their first words. Each child will reach this point at a different speed. Some infants speak their first words at around 9 months old, while others don't speak until their 2nd birthday. In order to promote the development of their young ones' speech, parents can actively support children in this learning phase with toys. To that end, it's important to note that children can learn up to 10 new words per day. Experts claim that the a child's first 50 words are their biggest hurdle at the beginning of speech development.

Wooden books support children's speech development

Children love stories from Mum, Dad, or their grandparents. Regardless of whether a child can understand them yet, it's important to speak with them. Even simply telling stories and the fact that your child is listening to them trains furthers their childhood speech development. Combined with fine motor activities such as turning the pages of books together activates the brain's speech centres. The reason for this is that the fine motor skills and speech centres in the brain are right next to each other and positively influence each other since both regions are activated simultaneously. In addition, reading aloud has other positive effects, such as the development of hearing abilities, strengthening the parent-child bond, and increasing children's concentration skills while they actively listen.

Expand vocabulary with wooden books

Expand your vocabulary with wooden books

Role-playing toys activate children's speaking skills

Role-playing toys give children the opportunity to imitate situations. Children set themselves into the world of adults and have lots of fun and joy imitating the grown-ups. Dive into this world of role-playing together with them and promote the development of their speaking skills with tea circles or crafting in the nursery. This can activate the linguistic exchange between adults and kids, which has a positive effect on their communication skills. At the same time, children's imaginations will be inspired with role-playing toys, and they can process the situations they've experienced while they role-play them. As a parent, you'll get a glance into your children's world of feelings.

Inspire communication with role-playing toys

How playing with dolls promotes speech development

Regardless whether they're for boys or girls - dolls are a popular toy choice for children. They also promote the speech development in the youngest kids. They can play with their dolls alone or as part of a group. Even when playing alone, their imaginations are activated when playing with role-playing toys and they make up stories which both help develop their speaking skills. It's also likely that the youngest ones will develop a strong connection to their dolls. They'll tell them stories or even secrets, which positively influences their communications skills.

Dolls contribute positively to communication skills

Parlour games encourage linguistic exchanges

There are certain toys and games that encourage communication between parents and children all by themselves. With board games, playing the games without speaking is hardly possible - indeed, linguistic exchange is at the forefront of these activities. At the same time, children learn to deal with losing when playing board games, which has a positive effect on their emotional development. Children between the ages of 2 and 3 years can start the game marathon with classics such as Memory, dominoes, and wobbly towers. Other classics such as Ludo, dominoes, Mikado, or Viking games are more suitable for children aged between 3 and 4 years old due to their more complex rules so they won't be overwhelmed.

Classic games support children's speech development

Classic games support the language development of children


Domino Safari

from 3 years

Cognitive Skills

How can children learn cognitive skills, and what significance do they have in children's development?

The meaning of cognitive skills for children

We rely on cognitive skills every day. They include mental perception such as thought processes and apply to all the senses. Among these are environmental perception, speech comprehension, information processing, concentration skills, and remembering experienced events. Therefore, cognition can be an interface between one's environment and the brain. This means that cognitive competence can include several cognitive skills such as logical thought, concentration skills, memory abilities, and learning abilities. Babies and infants must first learn all of these skills. Parents can actively support children in this learning process with toys.

Explore the principles of cause and effect with shape-fitting and stacking games

Since cognitive skills can be considered to be the foundation of human thought, they're particularly essential for babies' and infants' development. After birth, babies are starting at square one - their comprehension of the cause-and-effect principles do not yet exist. For example, newborns learn that objects can be moved between the ages of 3 and 6 months. The principles of cause and effect can be further explored with this example. Shape-fitting and stacking games encourage the youngest kids to train their logical and abstract thought. Depending on their level of difficulty, they're also suitable for babies and infants to train their cognitive skills. At the same time, they'll also train their vision abilities and fine motor skills.

Shape-fitting and stacking games promote the development of logical and abstract thought

Train concentration in a playful way

Children have to first learn to direct their attention to the important things at the right time. Children start to be able to concentrate longer between the ages of 3 and 4 years old. At that point, their attention spans last for around 20 minutes. They have to train their patience and first learn to concentrate. Toys that require patience and concentration promote the cognitive development, and some examples are threading games, games of skill, and balance games.

Train concentration with threading games, games of skill, and balance games.

Puzzles for training cognitive skills

Whether for babies or for infants - Puzzles support children with their recognition, naming, and categorising of objects. At the same time, they'll train their concentration by carefully thinking and trying out different positions for the puzzle pieces to find the right spot. Patience and perseverance are needed to complete the puzzle. In addition, layer puzzles impart knowledge about certain topics, such as how a frog develops or the stages of a pregnancy.

Train cognitive skills with puzzles

Social Development

How can children gain social skills and learn good social behaviours?

Babies' and infants' interest in social relationships

Children's interest in their fellow human beings is large, even as babies. Ultimately, this is in human nature. They like human voices and can symbolise their interest as well as their disinterest to others with facial expressions and gestures. Once newborns can see their environment better, they start to smile at other people around the age of 6 months. It's completely natural that some babies are a bit more restrained around strangers than others. Parents don't have to worry about kids being shy with strangers. It's also normal when children younger than 3 years old prefer to play by themselves and then develop an interest in playing together with others later on.

How children learn the rules of social togetherness

Children first have to learn to control their social interactions between two or more people. They have to first find their role in the group and practise their interaction with other children. That means learning to accept compromises or dial down their own wishes in the interest of the group. At the same time, children are confronted with the challenge of perceiving and categorising emotions such as anger, sadness, and defiance. The foundation of this is emotional learning via everyday experiences. In addition to words, one's facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice, and body posture also play a role. Daily emotional learning takes place where people meet each other. For example, why is my friend in kindergarten angry when I take away his toy? There's the risk of escalation through pushing and hitting. Ultimately, there's the confirmation that children cannot foresee the consequences of their actions. They're lacking the ability to imagine how other people feel, and they still have to learn to accept boundaries and limitations. Children start to learn skills such as understanding, empathy, consolation, and reliability step by step. These are part of emotional skills and they constitute the foundation for social development in order to be able to build relationships.

Promote social and emotional development with role-playing toys

Children's emotional and social development can be trained with role-playing toys and imitating situations they experience. It's possible to simulate everyday situations in a playful way. This allows children to process their experience, and parents have an opportunity to learn more about children's emotional state in a comfortable setting. Even just describing the emotional state trains children's emotional skills. They learn to deal with their own feelings and how to express them in words. This also promotes their social development in the sense that children place themselves in the shoes of hair stylists, police officers, or store owners when role-playing and perceive things from another viewpoint. This developmental foundation thereby gains a strong personality.

Role-playing toys promote social and emotional development

Play worlds promote social development

Play worlds allow children to dive into another world - they not only inspire children's fantasies, but also encourage them to place themselves into the role of other people and perceive things from their viewpoint. This lays the foundation of social behaviour even in early childhood. Emotional skills such as understanding and empathy are very important for many areas of everyday life - they build a basis for social togetherness, social responsibility, and stable relationships.

Learn personality traits such as understanding and empathy

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