Some toys do much more than keep children occupied. They help with cognitive and physical development from infancy to adolescence. Books that are made of non-toxic plastic and include texture are ideal for providing tactile stimulation to newborn babies. Animals that have fur, scales, rough hides, and feathers is a popular topic.

Bright colored shapes attached to the stroller encourage infants to reach for objects that capture their attention. In addition to building strength, they also help develop hand-eye coordination. Reading to children begins the process of learning language.


Large blocks improve manual dexterity and create brain pathways to understand spatial relationships. Singing simple songs and encouraging vocalization continues language development. Playing music designed to appeal to young children will also prompt body movements and balance.

School Age

The change in activity, such as playing with smaller blocks, hones skills and leads to development at a faster pace. Interactions with other children, adults, and older kids build confidence and defines personality. Preferences are more pronounced, decision making is needed all day, and problem-solving takes a giant leap once in the classroom.

School will also bring new challenges, such as following instructions, sitting still, and paying attention to the teacher. Most children fidget because they are not used to being at a desk, taking turns, or standing in line. As they get older, that will decrease to manageable levels for the vast majority of kids. Some will require help developing coping skills.

Fidget spinners are toys that have helped some children improve concentration and allow them to participate fully in class. The repetitious stimulation keeps hands busy and alleviates anxiety.

Some schools have banned this toy from the classroom because it can be a distraction. Other schools allow them to be used at lunch time and on the playground to provide mental breaks between tasks.

Out of School

Spinners can be used to improve concentration and relieve anxiety in many situations. Riding in a vehicle, walking through the grocery store, or attending social events can be easier for kids if they have a spinner. Adults have used them as well in meetings, on the subway, and while on the telephone.

Toys that Help with Development