Developmental Skills

Learn More about Developmental Skills and how important they are in your child's development.

Motor and Hand-Eye coordination skills

Motor skills are those that require movement of the muscles. Gross motor refers to the use of the large muscles like those used for crawling or walking. Motor development occurs in a predictable manner from the head down to the legs. First, a baby acquires head control and then develops control of the arms and hands. The baby will reach for toys and put his thumb in his mouth. Development of control then progresses to the pelvis which is seen when a baby learns to roll over. Finally, development progresses to the legs and it is then that us parents can celebrate crawling and walking.

Gross motor skills are enhanced at all ages by encouraging your child to move. At a young age your child can be encouraged to increase their freedom of movement. At an older age, encouraging movement can not only be fun but it can be accomplished through games.

Hand-Eye coordination is the ability of the vision system to coordinate the information received through the eyes to control, guide, and direct the hands in the accomplishment of a given task, such as handwriting or catching a ball. Hand-eye coordination uses the eyes to direct attention and the hands to execute a task.

Infants are eager to move their eyes, their mouths, and their bodies toward the people and objects that comfort and interest them. They practice skills that let them move closer to desired objects and also move desired objects closer to themselves. By six months of age, many infants begin reaching for objects quickly, without jerkiness, and may be able to feed themselves a biscuit or similar food. Infants of this age try to get objects within their reach and objects out of their reach. Many infants are also able to look from hand to object, to hold one object while looking for a second object, and to follow the movements of their hands with their eyes. At this age, most infants begin to poke at objects with their index fingers. After six months, infants are usually able to manipulate a cup and hold it by the handle. Many infants at this age also begin to reach for objects with one arm instead of both. At about eight months of age, as dexterity improves, many infants can use a pincher movement to grasp small objects, and they can also clap and wave their hands. They also begin to transfer objects from hand to hand, and bang objects together.

Puzzles, arts and crafts and much more - these dexterity enabling toys are ideal for developing motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Whether you’re renting for a baby just mastering the pincer grip or for a school-age child, the toys and activities in this section are perfect for motor and Hand-Eye coordination development.

Sensory SkillsSensory / Auditory Skills

Toys that help develop Sensory skills are those that encourages children to use one or more of the senses, including sight, sound, smell, touch, taste, balance, and movement. Sensory toys appeals to children of all ages and is full of opportunities for language enrichment.

Language SkillsLanguage Development

Parents always anxiously await their baby’s first word. But those second, third, and fourth words deserve just as much attention! Language toys are so important for children development, because language is a fundamental part of life. Learning the art of language, expanding vocabulary, and building strong reading skills will reward your child throughout their entire life. One of the best gifts a child can receive is the gift of reading. You can help your little loved one become a reader for life! The earlier you start learning the alphabet, building vocabulary, learning English or other language with your kids, the easier it gets for them to obtain the fine language skills. The use of fun language toys is a sure way to help your child be the best they can be. A solid base in language arts, rich vocabulary, and strong reading skills build future success.

Help children learn to form sounds, match words and objects, think through a story and increase vocabulary and speaking skills with these communication-focused educational toys. These speech - and language boosters are sure to engage and educate.

Learning musical instruments, hearing sound-enhanced puzzles and playing cooperative games are exciting challenges! These educational toys make it easy to practice listening skills and focus - an essential step in improving auditory processing skills.

Cognitive SkillsCognitive

Cognition refers to thinking and problem solving. It is our ability to use and manipulate information. It is how we evaluate, plan and select a course of action. Cognition involves reasoning, perception and intuition.

For a small child, cognition involves the development of trial and error as well as tool use. A child will manipulate objects over and over in order to bring about a desired result. Tool use may be as simple as using one toy to reach another toy. As a child manipulates objects again and again cause and effect develops. This means that a child understands that an action they do causes a certain response from others or from the toy. As the child gets older, he/she will develop an understanding that others cause events to happen and they are not the cause of all events or actions. As cause and effect continue to develop, they can begin to understand that a cause took place by observing the effect. Another important aspect of cognition for the young child is imaginative play. While engaging in make believe play, the young child is acquiring the ability to differentiate between the real and the pretend.

As an older child develops, formal logic will emerge. This refers to the ability to maintain information, reflect back on it, determine causality and change the course of action if necessary. Logic refers to the process of thinking and not to the solution itself.

Cognitive skills can be enhanced through play with toys that have a strategic component. They require a child to evaluate a situation, plan ahead, and choose a course of action.

Cognitive skills developed during childhood can have lasting benefits, making it easier to face challenges, cope with adversity and act responsibly throughout life. Get your child off to the right start with a handpicked selection of educational toys and learning tools. Sorting, sequencing, counting, memory and puzzling all help develop the skills to think through a problem, face it calmly and solve it creatively.

Social Emotional SkillsSocial / Emotional Skills

Social as defined in the dictionary means companionship or having to do with human beings living together. Sociable refers to being friendly. There are many factors that contribute to our relationships and our feelings that no definition could sufficiently explain the meaning of social. Some of the social language functions are:

 - The ability to change the way we speak with different people
 - Ability to know what to talk about when and how long to keep it up
 - The ability to understand humor
 - The ability to assume the perspective of the listener
 - The ability to praise another person

Some of the social behaviors are:

 - The ability to resolve conflicts
 - The ability to cooperate and work with others
 - The ability to interpret people’s actions and gestures

Some of our children have difficulty with one or more of these social language functions or behaviors and it can make forming friendships nearly impossible. We can help our children with social skills by continuously explaining the unspoken social rules that we all naturally follow but that they may not be aware of and practicing. An example of this is personal space. Some children have difficulty with this skill and it may take several years of discussing and pointing out social faux pas before this skill becomes fully integrated. Another way to increase awareness is to talk about our own strengths and limitations with regards to social rules. This will increase the child’s awareness without his limitations being directly highlighted. Games can be used as well to sneak in social practice and learning.

For children learning to exercise self-control and navigate new social dynamics, playing with toys can be a reassuring way to explore emotions and group play. These toys help develop emotional awareness by letting kids act, speak, draw and interact in ways that develop self-expression and make feelings easier for them to understand and handle. The toys in this category also teach a social component or can be played to encourage social skills among friends.

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