What toys and types of play for the first 3 years?

Child Development: Recommended Play for 0 to 3 years old

Let's take a look at the early developmental stages of a child's life and talk about the types of play that can support them as they hit various milestones!


Newborn – 6 months: Sensory Play
Visual and auditory stimulation as well as motor skill development are crucial during this time! Encourage your baby to focus on objects with their eyes by stimulating them visually with the PlanToys Play Gym or Mobile. As a newborn progresses, start looking at colorful pictures and reading stories together; look into mirrors and start to explore sensory play!


6 – 12 months: Active Free-play Toys
At this stage, babies start to further develop fine and gross motor skills. Toys like the PlanToys Sensory Tumbling encourage sensory development and also improve fine motor skills. And, as your baby starts to take their first steps, walker can support their mobility! 


12 – 18 months: Push & Pull and Musical Toys
During this stage, little ones are developing their muscles and listening skills quickly. They are typically now able to hold themselves up and balance on their own, so push-and-pull toys are great options! Stimulate their senses through musical toys with the Solid Drum. During this time, children are also starting to further develop social, emotional and intellectual skills — explore the PlanToys dancing alligatorwooden block sets and My First Camera!


18 months – 2 years: Educational Toys
Support children as they strengthen their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination during this stage with toys that invite them to grab, stack, sort, push and pull. This is also a crucial time to introduce educational toys like the stacking ring or sort and count as these playthings intellectually stimulate little ones and help them develop basic math and language skills early on - explore Plantoys Beehive and Ramp Racer.


2 – 3 years: Pretend Play
At this stage, challenging a child's gross motor skills, social and emotional development, and creativity are extra important! Toys that stimulate a child intellectually like the PlanToys Creative Peg BoardLacing BoardGames & Puzzle invite them to learn through play. Furthermore, pretend play toys like the Kitchen Set, Doctor Set, Dentist Set or Makeup Set can assist children in their creativity and imaginative thinking.

Child Development Chart from 0 to 3 years old (click here to download)

 DISCLAIMER: This is shared by PlanToys as a reference for parents. We do not claim to have medical expertise and believe you should always consult with your child's physician if you have questions or concerns regarding your child's development.

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