Our Top Developmental Toys for Toddlers
From flash cards and cool bath toys to activity sets that encourage development of fine motor skills, we LOVE products that help guide child development, especially for the under 3 brigade.
Our key criteria when developing toys for toddlers include:
Has the capacity to be played with in different ways and multiple times
Challenges a child to think, feel, do, and ask questions
Contributes to the development of the child's curiosity, problem solving skills, creativity, and fine/gross motor, visual and sensory skills
Engages the child's natural talents, interests and abilities
Designed to exceed the most rigorous product safety testing. These tests include: ASTM, EN71, and REACH.
Here is a list of our top 6 most highly recommended developmental toys to help your little ones develop and grow!
1. Junior Gallery - Picture This
Suitable Age: 2+
About: The perfect colouring activity set for little hands, Junior Gallery comes with its own collection of four toddler-safe markers. Non-toxic, washable and made chunky for small hands to grip, these markers are extra safe for littlies because they are glued together so tightly no small bits can come apart.
Benefits: Junior Gallery is all about the development and honing of fine motor skills and creative expression. Little hands can practice holding the markers and using them to colour in, scribble, fine-tune the drawing of straight lines and shapes (working with the beautifully illustrated pictures) and peeling off and decorating with stickers. Page turning is another great skill to develop at this age, and there are lots of opportunities with the 36 page colouring pad. Remember, it’s all about the fun of making colourful marks on paper, the skills are just a extra benefit!
Each Junior Gallery set contains:
5 toddler-safe markers
36 page colouring book
2 sheets of stickers
2. Shark Chasey - Catch a Fish
Suitable Age: 1+
About: This brightly coloured bath toy is designed for fun in the tub. Use the big mouth shark net to scoop and catch as many of the fish as you can. Made from EVA foam, the floating fish are also great to stick to the side of the bath or surrounding tiles when wet. And the best bit? You can use the shark net to scoop up all your other toys when bath time is finished! Pack up just got a whole lot easier and FUN!
Benefits: While absorbed in play, kids are encouraged to improve fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination as they practice their grip on the toddler-friendly net handle and pull it through the water, keeping eyes keenly on the floating school of fish. Bath time is also the perfect place for small children to lose themselves in the relaxing, repetitive and sensory aspects of scooping, pouring and running their hands through water. Pulling the net through the water, sensing how objects float and stick and splashing sounds allow them to unwind, order their thoughts and relax. Early numeracy skills are also encouraged by counting the fish. How many have you caught in the net, how many green ones? How many blue?
3. Roly Poly Koala
Suitable Age: 3m+
About: Our brand new jolly Roly Poly Koala loves being pushed, pulled or knocked over — always bobbing up for more fun. Koala’s rounded, weighted bottom will always spin him back upright for more play. And as he rolls around he makes a lovely tinkling bell sound, for additional sensory stimulation.
Benefits: This classic early childhood learning and development toy is ideal for babies and young toddlers. Koala’s wobbling action entices little ones to reach out and push. Even the most random “batting” action is rewarded with a gentle tinkling bell sound and the little koala popping up for more. Little ones begin to understand the connection between cause and effect. They see there is a connection between their actions and the world around them. And realise that they can make interesting things happen. Roly Poly Koala encourages curiosity and discovery, all the while helping to develop fine motor skills.
4. Junior Balls
Suitable Age: 0+
About: Junior Balls are the perfect ‘first soccer ball’ for little ones, available in two adorable animal designs — Tiger and Bear.
Benefits: All children benefit from rolling, catching, throwing, grabbing, bouncing and kicking balls. And these lightweight size 2 soccer balls, with classic 32 panel design are the ideal size for the under 3s to practice their skills. Each of these activities help to improve gross motor skills, hand-eye (or foot) coordination and balance. From the time babies can sit on their own, they can start to roll a ball. It’s a great introduction to cause and effect and feeling in control of something other than their own movements.
As they grow, they will begin to use two hands to attempt to catch by pulling a ball closer to their body. Kicking is an awesome activity for toddlers. At first your little one will walk into a ball to move it forward. As your child matures they will begin to lift one leg to kick. This requires balance and is a great challenge for toddlers and preschoolers. As their balance improves they will be able to kick the ball harder and farther and in a straight line.
5. Flash Cards
Suitable Age: 18m+
About: Designed and illustrated in Australia, our Flash Cards - Animal ABC help develop children's recognition of the alphabet as well as early vocabulary. The perfect ‘take anywhere’ pram and carseat accessory, these beautifully illustrated flash cards (26) are double-sided and come on a child-friendly plastic ring. The ring allows little fingers to easily flip and play. And can be opened by parents and clipped around pram poles and carseat straps to ensure the cards are never far away from your toddlers hands.
Benefits: Flashcard learning is a fun and vibrant way for early learners to explore the alphabet, new words and images. They are a great tool to get involved in the learning process with your little one, by providing a spoken word to accompany the picture.
Repeating words to children so they mimic them is the most natural form of early teaching… adding a pictorial clue offers great visual stimulation in addition to auditory learning. Toddlers also enjoy flipping through the cards themselves, practicing fine motor skills while they enjoy the engaging illustrations.
6. Magic Painting World
Suitable Age: 1+
About: Watch your little one become a magical artist with Magic Painting World. Simply fill the magic paintbrush with water and reveal the gorgeous illustrations brought to life with every brush-stroke! Ideal for portable play (no messy paintbrushes, no water glasses to knock over) each set contains four gorgeous paintings for your toddler to discover with the water-brush. Let the painting dry and the picture returns to white, only to be revealed the next time you paint with water.
Benefits: This is a great activity for the development of fine motor skills, especially pencil grip. In order to learn to write or draw a child’s hand must be strong and coordinated enough to hold a pencil steady for a long period of time, and to be able to control it’s movements. The magic paintbrush is perfectly chunky for small hands to grasp and the magic that appears with each sweep of the water brush, encourages repetition. As technique becomes more controlled, toddlers can learn to ‘paint’ within the lines of selected animals.
Each illustration board also comes with a list of fun things to find and count as you paint, encouraging early numeracy skills, while matching and finding help develop early reasoning skills.