You asked

What are the best developmental toys for my five to eight year old?

There are lots of really wonderful developmental toys available for your five to eight year child. It’s important that your child spends time playing developmental games instead of spending too much time sat in front of the TV or computer screen.
 
Your child should spend a maximum of one hour watching TV or playing computer games per day.  To keep your child’s brain stimulated, it is important that there is a variety of toys readily available. They don’t have to cost a fortune as all that matters is your child has lots of different play experiences.
 
Try to choose toys from each of the following categories so that your child benefits from a well rounded playtime:
 
Large motor skills:
Pick toys that emphasise coordination, balance and build arm and leg strength.
  • Ride-on toys: Start with a bike scaled to his size.
  • Sports equipment: Throwing and catching or basket balls help to improve hand-eye coordination
  • Action toys: These include skipping ropes, hula hoops, skateboards, play tunnels, swings and kites.
Fine motor skills: Toys for hand-eye coordination which will improve writing skills
  • Art supplies: Make lots of art supplies available such as; crayons, pencils, markers, chalk, watercolours, colouring and craft books, play clay, scissors, pipe cleaners.
  • Story boards:  Encourage use of felt boards, magnetic boards, peg boards with multiple pieces.
  • Building toys: wooden, plastic, cardboard and foam building blocks are all wonderful developmental toys.
  • Puzzles, musical instruments, board games, cards, dolls and doll houses, action figures and train sets are all wonderful toys to help encourage your child’s imagination.
Language skills:
It’s important not to forget the sort of toys, which emphasise speaking, music and pre-reading skills.
  • Books: Make sure you have a wide variety available, from beginning readers to simple nonfiction, which you can read to your child. Take regular trips to the bookstore, library or charity shops.
  • Props for play:  Toys that help your child pretend will foster your child’s imagination. Clothes to dress up in, toy kitchens and medical kits, cash registers and play sets are all great toys.
  • Games to help reading: Board games for beginner readers and card-matching games all help to boost reading skills.

More questions

InnoTab 2 is a multi-media learning handheld combining educational games, fun activities and e-books on a multi-functional touch-screen tablet. Children can develop core skills in reading, spelling, maths...
Don’t try to minimise or belittle your child’s worries just because they appear trivial to you
You mightn’t be aware of it but from the moment your child is born, he is paying attention to what you do and say.
Positive attention, reactions and responses from parents and other important grown-ups help children build a picture of how valued they are.
 
There are always opportunities to give your child positive attention in your everyday interactions together.
Your five-year-old will need your support and encouragement especially when he starts school.
Learning to dress will require plenty of patience, persistence and practice from both you and your child.
Make a variety of playthings available to your child to help get him away from TV or computer screens. 

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