Motor skills development: which toys for each age?

Motor skills development: which toys for each age?

From a baby's first wonder at different textures and colours to the precision and coordination of a preschooler assembling an intricate puzzle, each stage of development requires specific stimuli. These are crucial for developing fine and gross motor skills playfully. This guide will help you learn how to select the most appropriate toys to support your child's motor development, taking into account their age and unique needs. In doing so, you'll aid in their journey towards independence and expand their view of the world, one toy at a time.

0-6 months: Sensory awakening and gross motor skills

During this stage, the aim is to stimulate the senses and kick-start the development of gross motor skills. The focus is on encouraging the infant to use their body to reach, touch, and explore.

  • Rattles: Develop grasp and hand-eye coordination.
  • Playmats and activity gyms: Stimulate gross motor skills and sensory discovery.
  • Fabric books: Encourage handling and tactile exploration.

Baby play gym «RENARD» from @mamas.oogappeltjes

6-12 months: Exploration and fine motor skills

This phase is all about tactile exploration and refining fine motor skills, enabling the baby to grasp small objects and interact more intricately with their environment.

  • Push and pull toys: Support walking development and balance. 
  • Shape sorters: Aid in shape recognition and fine motor skills.

Discover our pull-along toys

1-2 years: Coordination and imagination

The focus is on developing motor coordination and stimulating imagination through role-playing games and activities that require precise hand-eye coordination.

  • Simple puzzles: Develop reasoning and fine motor skills. 
  • Ride-ons and walkers: Encourage mobility and exploration of space. 
  • Building blocks: Stimulate creativity and movement precision.

Soft building blocks «ARC EN CIEL»

2-3 years: Precision and socialization

At this age, the aim is to refine movement precision and introduce early social interactions through play, thereby encouraging the development of social skills and fine motor abilities.

  • Playdough: Promotes dexterity and creativity.
  • Tricycles: Improve balance and coordination. 
  • Role-playing games (e.g., kitchen, tools): Encourage imitation and social play.

3-6 years: Complexity and challenges

For children aged 3 to 6, the focus shifts to handling more complex issues and taking on both physical and cognitive challenges, promoting the acquisition of sophisticated motor skills and stimulating critical thinking through play.

  • Bikes with or without stabilisers: Support the development of balance and overall motor coordination.
  • Simple craft kits: Encourage creativity and the development of fine motor skills through the manipulation of small objects and materials.