Toolkit: Developing a Child’s Attention – Playing with Toys

Provide play materials that encourage independent thinking and creativity, such as LEGOS, building blocks, and pretend play items.

  • Infants prefer toys with many sensory properties that they can feel, shake, and mouth. Simple toys provide more chances for exploration than electronic toys with lots of “bells and whistles.”
  • Young children can develop pretend play skills as early as twelve months. For example, they might “talk” on a toy phone. Join in these early experiences and turn them into an opportunity for lots of back-and-forth interaction.
  • Build towers together. Infants will prefer knocking blocks down at first. But as your baby develops motor coordination, she will be more interested in helping you stack the blocks. In the toddler and preschool years, these actions will become more elaborate. They will also take on symbolic meaning. For example, your child might build a pet hospital where a little dog can go when he is sick.